County auditing contract $110,000 | RecordCourier.com

County auditing contract $110,000

Hiring an independent auditor and establishing an asset management system are two grand jury suggestions scheduled to be discussed by county commissioners on Thursday.

The firm Moss Adams has submitted a $110,000 proposal to serve as the county's auditor.

The auditor will develop an internal audit policy and a plan to identify risks and will assess steps needed to minimize risks of another $1 million Tiregate embezzlement in the future.

Commissioners meet 1:30 p.m. today at the Tahoe Transportation Center in Stateline.

Before the regular meeting, commissioners will participate in an 11 a.m. workshop on asset management.

An examination of Douglas County's public works department was the first step in establishing an asset management system in the wake of the Tiregate thefts.

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According to an examination conducted by CH2M Hill Engineers, primers on asset management were first held two years ago, eight months before the theft of more than $1 million in tires was uncovered.

Concerns in a self-assessment conducted with public works were a lack of performance measures at the division level being used for assessment and improvement of personnel. At the time of the assessment there were 45 staffers in public works, and they expressed a concern that there was no back up, and key staff weren't being used to their full potential.

According to the report, written procedures are rare in public works and projects aren't performed in a consistent fashion. The public works department collects a lot of data, but it isn't being used effectively, consultants said.

"There is very little technology across Douglas County Public Works," the report said. "This prevents the entire organization from mining and analyzing valuable data," according to the report.

When prepared, the report said there was a negative perception of Information Technology within Public Works, but leadership changes may change that perception.

Implementing the system will cost the county $350,000 a year, or $3.5 million over the next decade, which is roughly three times the amount that was stolen from the motor pool.

Among immediate recommendations were outsourcing review of developer plans which was taking up hours of managers' time. The consultant also suggested the department develop Excel-based reports that will allow easier access to public works' files.

"The data are mostly stored in paper files, Access databases and Excel files, which makes data analysis difficult," consultants said.

The consultant said that fixing the database could help find problem assets and efficiencies.