DENVER – Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA, will make social services, construction and public safety top priorities for the year ahead in the new 2019 Audit Plan.
“From dealing with overdoses to jail safety to construction, there are many issues in our city the people want watched closely. That’s where we come in,” Auditor O’Brien said. “In the next year, I will continue to keep a very close eye on what the Mayor and his agencies are doing with Denver’s money and resources.”
The 2019 Audit Plan, a Denver Charter-mandated document, outlines the Auditor’s priorities and gives city agencies and the public an advance look at which agencies or issues he plans to take a closer look at in the coming year. However, the plan is subject to change throughout the year; the Auditor could decide not to do an audit, or he could add in an emergency audit as resources allow.
In 2019, Auditor O’Brien plans to look into several social issues that are top of mind for the people of Denver. These will include social services provided at the Denver Public Library. As the use and needs of the library have changed, the Auditor wants to know if it is receiving the support it needs to meet its mission.
The Auditor also wants an audit of child welfare placement services, including a review of the foster care and residential child care facilities for the city. Protecting children who need help or who are at-risk should be a priority for the city, and the Auditor wants to see it done with care and effectiveness.
Public safety is another high-priority audit topic on the 2019 list. Auditor O’Brien is calling for a more in-depth review of the city’s jail operations and its use-of-force policy. He also plans an audit of substance misuse and overdose prevention efforts administered by the Community Health Division and possibly also the needle exchange program.
The Auditor and his management team use a risk assessment process throughout the year to compile the audits listed in the Audit Plan. Audit ideas come from information gathered by the audit teams, input from city leaders including the Mayor, City Council and department heads, and from concerns shared with our office from the people of Denver.
“Thank you to everyone who gave input on our audit selection process,” Auditor O’Brien said. “I look forward to working with the agencies and departments in this plan to make our city better in the year ahead.”
One audit recommendation we heard many times from concerned citizens was the need for a closer look at Denver’s recycling program. Auditor O’Brien agrees and has planned an audit of solid waste recycling to review the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the recycling and composting program. In a city that strives to be green, the Auditor believes city programs should be leading the way in encouraging thoughtful waste disposal.
This ambitious 2019 Audit Plan also includes high priority issues such as construction contracting, the new sidewalk repair program and the Denver preschool program sales tax. Auditor O’Brien will also continue to focus on cybersecurity and various audits at Denver’s airport, where billions of dollars of construction and other projects are underway.
Some audits in the plan will look familiar, such as the community center board mill levy expenditure compliance audit. These audits are expected in 2019, because extensive audit work continues from 2018.
There are also several audits expected before the end of 2018 that you won’t see in the 2019 plan. A key audit to watch for yet this year is our thorough audit of the affordable housing program.
“My staff works exhaustively to ensure the highest professional government auditing standards for all audits every year,” Auditor O’Brien said. “I anticipate another year full of meaningful, impactful work on behalf of the people of Denver.”
You can read all the planned audits on our website, as well as audits we have completed in 2018.