FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Meg Waters, (cell) 714-658-9783, 714-834-2318, email@example.com -or- Toni Smart, Director of Internal Audit, 714-834-5442
BOARD APPROVES FIRST AUDIT PLAN IN 20 YEARS UNDER THE ELECTED AUDITOR-CONTROLLER
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JULY 15, 2016 — The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved the FY 2016-17 Audit Plan and Risk Assessment at the July 12th Board meeting by a 4-0 vote. This is the first Audit Plan in 20 years to be implemented by the independently elected Auditor-Controller. In August 2015, the Internal Audit department was merged back into the Auditor-Controller’s Office after the function had been placed under the Board of Supervisors in the aftermath of the 1994 Orange County Bankruptcy.
“Independence is critically important to the audit process,” states Eric Woolery, Orange County’s Auditor-Controller. “We now have a more autonomous system that will produce objective results for the Board of Supervisors, County department heads and taxpayers. We look forward to serving the Board of Supervisors and County departments/agencies with the goal of improving the County’s financial and reporting processes. ”
The majority of the planned audits fall under the category of Internal Control Audits (ICA) which validate and confirm internal processes to ensure the accuracy of County financial transactions and safeguard assets from fraud, waste and abuse. A few examples of the many planned audits in this area include:
- OCIT’s oversight of billing practices of information technology contracts
- Assessing countywide implementation of the new travel and meeting policy
- Continuing audits of the Dana Point Harbor’s procurement processes
- Assess internal controls over payroll processing at OCDA
- Assessing the Sheriff Department’s internal controls over billing for Harbor Patrol and
Airport Police Services.
The Audit Plan focuses on transaction cycles or business processes that cross multiple County departments ‘horizontally’ such as contract procurement, grant management, and information
technology. The plan is developed following a countywide risk assessment that includes members of the Board of Supervisors, the County Executive Office and all department/agency executive management. Through this process, Internal Audit designs a risk-based Audit Plan to address the highest priorities while limiting the scope to what can realistically be accomplished with available resources.
According to Director of Internal Audit, Toni Smart, “We are committed to prioritizing and auditing activities or processes identified as ‘high risk’ or those requested by the Board of Supervisors, Audit Oversight Committee, or department/agency directors within the current year.”
In addition to the audits included in the plan, the department conducts many separate audits that are requested based on fraud hotline claims, or special requests from departments.