The City Council unanimously approved an operational audit for 10 municipal departments on Monday.
The council accepted by roll call vote a one-time expenditure of $31,500 from the Veolia Water revenue account to have J.H. Cohn LLP conduct the audits. The measure also has the company design and implement a monthly financial close process and recommend improvements and modifications to current financial reports.
Auditor Ron Nossek previously said the audit will focus on the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years. The process will also include an analysis of areas such as general accounting practices and how overtime is approved.
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Finance Director Jeff Smith suggested the operational audit on Sept. 4, saying the city should focus on determining the reasons for overspending in the three departments where it was most prominent: the New London Fire Department, the New London Police Department, and the Department of Public Works. On Sept. 25, the Finance Committee unanimously recommended that the operational audit also include the Finance Department, Personnel Department, former city manager’s office, mayor’s office, Recreation Department, Water and Water Pollution Control Authority, and Office of Development and Planning in the audit.
In recent months, some councilors and residents have advocated a more in-depth forensic audit to determine fiscal patterns in the city over the past several years. Smith has cautioned against such an approach, saying it could cost over $1 million, but said a forensic audit would be advisable if the operational audit uncovers evidence of fraud or other malfeasance.