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2004-10-11 FCTA Urges Elected Auditor

Auditor would be independent from Supervisors

The Board of Directors of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance has unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to establish an elected auditor. This resolution, which is posted on the FCTA website, has been forwarded to the Fairfax County Chairman and the Board of Supervisors. The Alliance urges the County Board to seek legislation for this position from the Virginia General Assembly, if necessary.

Fairfax County's current auditors report directly, or indirectly, to the Board of Supervisors.

The County has about 11,500 non-school employees and 21,000 school employees, making it the largest county government in Virginia. The County's budget is $2.7 billion and the school budget is $1.8 billion. The County's total appropriated funds are approximately $4.6 billion. Yet the programs and effectiveness of this huge bureaucracy and enormous budget are not subject to independent audits or investigations.

The Federal Government has an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for all departments and agencies. The OIG conducts audits, investigations, inspections, and promotes efficiency. In large departments of the Federal Government, the OIG has rooted out waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and corruption. The elected auditor would function as an OIG.

An elected auditor could have prevented last summer's scandal in the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection, which resulted in the sudden retirement of the department's director

The FCTA advocates an auditor elected every four years. The elected auditor would work with the Board of Supervisors but be accountable to the voters. The position would include a small staff with expertise in auditing, investigations, and inspections. The independent auditor would be responsible for both the County and school budgets in their entirety.