Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Independent Audit Needed

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Independent Audit Needed

Although I did not win a seat on Alexandria’s City Council in 2006, I have continued to advocate for an independent audit of the city’s major accounts, to include the Operating and Capital Improvement budgets. I also pressed for an audit of the schools to be conducted by the Department of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Jim Hartman, who was the city manager at the time, took my initiative and initiated an efficiency and effectiveness audit for several of the city’s departments, with good results. However, a number of departments were not required to undergo this audit, so the overall results for the city as a whole were not truly assessed. Ten years later, a valid requirement still exists for the city to conduct an efficiency and effectiveness audit for all departments.

Since the city has a debt of $600 million with an annual debt service of $90 million (with $2 billion in unfulfilled infrastructure requirements), it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that an overall, comprehensive audit just might be required.

During the November 2015 election cycle, I stated that the city should “initiate a thorough independent performance audit of the city’s Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets to ensure that the citizens of Alexandria are receiving cost effective, efficient and reliable services.” In this time of fiscal constraints and impending revenue declines, anything less is a disfavor to our citizenry.

Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet