Auditor General Discusses Findings of 18-Month Audit With City of Palm Bay Officials
By Space Coast Daily // October 15, 2019
SEE THE Audit General Exit Interview Summary
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – City of Palm Bay officials met Tuesday with the Office of the Auditor General’s team for an exit interview to discuss the findings from the 18-month audit covering the period of October 2016 through February 2018.
“The findings will be included in the Auditor General’s Preliminary and Tentative Findings Report, which will be provided to city administration and elected officials within a few weeks,” said Keely Leggett City of Palm Bay Community Information Coordinator.
“The list of topics and short summaries are derived from meeting notes and are being provided as a transparent communication to the public.
“The following list is for informational purposes only, and shall not be considered comprehensive final findings or a substitute for the Preliminary and Tentative Findings Report from the Office of the Auditor General,” said Leggett.
Exit Interview Discussion Topics Included:
• Create an Anti-Fraud and Ethics Administrative Code.
• Budget Controls. Improve year-end estimates for the budget.
• Budget and Financial Monitoring. Improve timing and details of monthly reports to City Council.
• Adhere to City Charter Section 3.052.
• Create a Special Event Administrative Code.
• Create a Donations to Non-Profit Organizations Administrative Code.
• Strengthen transparency of long-term capital improvement projects, for example, St. Johns Heritage Parkway and Interchange. Long-term planned projects that may change over time must include the historical comparison and records to inform City Council of changes with full accountability, substantial documentation, and transparency for consideration of changes during the life cycle of the project.
• Design-Build Proposals to adhere to state laws and local ordinances for the composition of evaluation teams for design-build type proposals; to include a competitively solicited and selected design criteria professional.
• Implement best practices for consistent review and use of procurement templates.
• Review and update adopted procurement policies and procedures manual.
• Procurement evaluation team members shall disclose actual and perceived conflicts of interest with primary and all subcontractors of the project.
• Procurement scoring requirements shall include written instruction and criteria to focus the evaluation team member’s scoring methodology on what is objective and required in the response.
• Procurement scoring with transparency includes requiring each evaluation team member to provide written notes to substantiate that member’s score; auditor also advised fractions are not acceptable scores, only whole numbers.
• Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) Contracts, must include pay submittals that match the awarded contract price list. This function is to be performed for both contractors and subcontractors and must be stipulated in future contracts versus standard operational practice.
• Verify all applicable licensing requirements for all contractor(s) and subcontractor(s) have been met.
• Update Administrative Code, Sale of City Surplus Real Estate
• Tangible Personal Property policy to be updated regarding capital and non-capital inventory asset reporting and reconciliation, following Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) guidelines.
• Update usage of City-Owned Motor Vehicle Administrative Code.
• Review Vehicle Allowance Policy.
• Comply with the Internal Revenue Service reporting requirement for the personal use of city vehicles.
• Ensure practice and policies are consistent with state law regarding extra compensation after services are rendered.
• Ensure practice and policies are consistent with state law regarding severance pay.
• Validate ongoing compliance with timekeeping procedures.
• Update and comply with administrative code and section pertaining to annual employee evaluation policy.
• Provide justification for pay increases.
• Review and verify salary allocations between funding sources.
• Evaluate the procurement threshold for City Council approval.
• Review and competitively resolicit any long-term contracts, for example, continuing engineering contract.
Improve procurement process involving elected officials in the competitive solicitation.
• Review policies and consider the competitive procurement process for the following exempt service contract types: Insurance, Legal and Financial Services.
• Review and update Purchasing Card controls and monitoring practices.
• Formalize wireless communication controls, to include device and user assignment master list, plan review, and monitoring practices.
• Maintain procurement proposal and contract records in accordance with state law.
• Create a Text Message/Communications policy and retention process outside the city servers.
• Establish a policy for timely publication of minutes for all public meetings.
• Establish a central repository or method for procurement to review financial disclosure forms.
• Coordinate information technology review of user access privileges within the city’s enterprise resource planning software with finance, procurement, payroll, and human resources.
• Approve funding for a Disaster Recovery Site for critical systems.
Leggett said members of City Council have been advised of the topics discussed in the exit interview.
“Upon the City Council and City Manager’s receipt of the official Preliminary and Tentative Findings Report, the City will have 30 days to provide a response to each finding and a corrective action plan,” said Leggett.
“City Staff are proactively establishing preliminary responses and the corrective action plan to provide a timely and meaningful response to the Preliminary and Tentative Findings Report. The Office of the Auditor General will return to the City of Palm Bay in 18 months to review the implementation of the corrective action plan.”
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