Friday, July 29, 2016

Fox, Meet Henhouse

Straight from the You Can't Make This Up department comes news of appointments to the audit committee chartered from the County Council resolution to review HCPSS budgets.

See anything that strikes you as odd? I do. Ellen Flynn Giles and Ann DeLacy, Board of Education members (whose work is the focus of this audit) have been nominated.
That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.
Not surprisingly, other community members who supported the legislation to create the audit and the committee were quick to point out the problem:
Isn't is a bit of a conflict of interest to have two sitting board members on a committee chartered due to a lack of confidence with the school system to audit Board approved budgets?



It is befuddling that two members of the audit committee will be auditing their own work.

Why are we at a place where an independent audit of the school system budget became necessary? A reminder:

At a public hearing Monday, the proposal, which includes a financial audit of the school system by the council's auditing office, drew support from residents who reiterated coined terms that have become common vernacular at open meetings related to the school system: transparency and accountability.

The members of this committee are tasked with examining the school system's budget process and decisions. It makes absolutely no sense to have two members of the Board taking part in this evaluation. It is the Board's work which is being examined. Their presence in the room unnecessarily influences the kind of independent analysis and frank conversation that will need to take place if this committee is to fulfill its mission.

If you object, as I do, to the nominations of Ms. Giles and Ms. DeLacy to this committee, take a look at this petition and sign it to register your disapproval.

It is altogether possible that Ms. Giles and Ms. DeLacy will recuse themselves out of a sense of propriety. That would be the right thing to do.

Of course, if we could count on knowing that the school system would do the right thing, we wouldn't be where we are today.


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