City desperately needs

August 06, 2012

In her recent op-ed, ("Where are the auditors?" July 30), Mary Alice Ernish reveals the failure of Baltimore City government to prepare routine financial statements much less perform annual agency audits. It's now obvious that a major turf battle between Baltimore's comptroller, mayor and City Council prevents acknowledgment of the extent of this financial dysfunction.

Baltimore needs to move ahead and establish a comprehensive system that meets government financial standards. The lack of agency audits over decades is proof that the city has no standard system for proficient financial management.

Ms. Ernish's extensive volunteer investigation calls for Baltimore to require preparation and approval of an annual audit plan, just as Denver and Louisville. If the city adopted this process for the next fiscal year, regular agency audits would naturally follow. The current effort to pass a charter amendment for agency audits really puts the cart before the horse.

City officials would be wise to inaugurate a comprehensive financial system with its first action, an annual audit plan. Kudos would come all their way for being fiscally responsible. At last, the citizens of Baltimore would be assured that revenues are appropriately spent.

Sandy Sparks, Baltimore

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