Baltimore City Council Committee Approves Audit Reform

The Baltimore City Council Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee unanimously voted today in favor of  City Council Bill 16-0699, as amended, which proposes to amend the Baltimore City Charter to dramatically reform auditing procedures. Specifically, the bill:

  • transfers auditing responsibility from individual agencies to the City Auditor, who reports to the Comptroller;
  • increases the frequency of both performance and financial audits from every four years to every two years;
  • requires audits for additional agencies, including the Department of Health and Mayor’s Office of Human Services; and
  • requires the Comptroller to publish all audits online.

Among other reforms, the amendments reduce potential conflicts of interest by placing responsibility for the audits under the Comptroller, who is elected independently of the Mayor. If approved by the full City Council, the proposed Charter amendments will be subject for adoption or rejection by the voters of Baltimore City on Election Day. Lead bill sponsor Councilman Eric Costello released detailed information about the initiative on his website.