Despite a March veto by DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, some county commissioners are still trying to find a way to move auditors from the administration to the board.
Commissioner Lee May originally proposed moving five auditors from Ellis’ control to the Board of Commissioners. That plan was vetoed by Ellis. “We didn’t have all of our commissioners at the moment to override the veto when it was necessary to do so,” May said.
May’s new plan is to transfer three positions from the finance department to the Board of Commission in October.
The transfer would give the commission time to fill its own internal auditor position, a job the board has had on the books for two years but has never filled.
“My only concern with hiring an internal auditor position without also making this move would be that we can bring in an internal auditor but this is a billion dollar organization,” May said. “You can’t have one person perform all the auditing functions necessary to do a good job.”
The move would take $74,000 from the finance department to fund the auditors for the rest of the year, but Joel Gottlieb, the county’s finance director, said that amount is too high.
“The $74,000 is more than one quarter’s worth of the three auditors,” Gottlieb said.
The annual salaries for three auditors total approximately $167,000, Gottlieb said. One fourth of that amount is $42,000, not $74,000.
Gottlieb said that years ago the board used on-call contractors for its auditing functions. The auditors performed audits “on a specialized basis rather than have somebody with the skill set on board as an employee.”
When vetoing the board’s first plan, Ellis said he supports an internal auditor position, but not “the establishment of an auditing division, department, or multiple auditors within the department of the Board of Commissioners.”
Ellis said he also does not support transferring auditors from the finance department staff to the BOC.
The measure is expected to come up for a vote in June.