The San Diego City Council will meet Monday morning to review some of the remedies being suggested by the Kroll consultants, who castigated the city in August for its past financial practices.
Mayor Jerry Sanders has essentially adopted the Kroll recommendations wholesale, while City Attorney Mike Aguirre and members of the City Council have raised questions or criticisms over the past few months.
One notable point of contention between Sanders and others lies in Kroll’s suggestion to create an audit committee, which would supervise the auditor general, oversee the city’s financial reporting functions and handle whistleblower complaints.
The mayor wants to appoint two members of the three-member panel and allow a councilmember to hold the third seat. The city attorney and Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin have warned that allowing the Mayor’s Office to appoint the individuals who are in charge of inspecting the mayor’s staff’s work is not a sound financial practice.
Creating an audit committee with the powers being proposed requires a public vote, and the council might ask Aguirre on Monday to draw up the language needed for a referendum for the June 2008 ballot.
In the meantime, the mayor wants to establish an interim audit committee – one that replaces a similar three-person panel of mayor and council appointees – until one is made permanent by the voters’ charter change. The IBA also does not support Sanders’ interim model.
“This model diminishes the effectiveness of the audit organization as a whole,” the IBA stated in a report that previews Monday’s meeting.
The council is also expected to discuss the process for appointing and hiring a monitor. Kroll recommended a monitor, and a source close to the city’s negotiations with the Securities and Exchange Commission said the city’s settlement with the SEC includes a stipulation that the government hire a monitor as well.
Check in later for more on the Kroll talks.