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City Councilors ask City’s Internal Auditor to Conduct Independent Review of Performance and Expenditures of the Federal Monitor

Councilors Brad Winter, Ken Sanchez, and Don Harris send letter to City's Internal Auditor

City Councilors Brad Winter, Ken Sanchez, and Don Harris have asked Acting City Auditor Lawrence Davis to conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the performance and expenditures of Public Management Resources, Inc., led by Dr. James Ginger, the Court appointed federal monitor team charged with assessing and reporting on the City’s implementation of the provisions of the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) with the DOJ.

Said Councilor Winter “The Independent Monitor’s agreement, which the federal court approved, called for the Monitor to make his financial records available to the City for inspection at any time.  Since 2015, the citizens of Albuquerque have paid millions of dollars to fund the Monitor, and we want to make sure that we’re spending taxpayer dollars wisely as we prepare to evaluate the Independent Monitor’s proposed annual budget for the fifth year of work.”

Among the items that the Councilors are asking to be reviewed as part of the audit are:

  • The Independent Monitor’s performance of his mandatory and discretionary duties under the CASA.
  • The Independent Monitor’s performance of the tasks and services described in his budget, including, among other things, on-site work days and information sharing.
  • The Independent Monitor’s representations related to his intended methods and approaches toward performance of his duties and the actual method of performance delivered, and an assessment of the comparative efficacy of these in performance of duties and responsibilities.
  • A review of performance benchmarks of other independent monitors around the nation, and a comparison of this data to the performance and methods of the Independent Monitor.

Councilor Sanchez remarked, “Since 2015, the City has spent more than $10 million for DOJ reforms, and almost a third of that has been the cost of the Independent Monitor and his team.  It’s our responsibility to do our due diligence for the taxpayers of our community.”

The three Councilors will also introduce a resolution at the November 6, 2017 City Council meeting that will allocate $25 thousand to Internal Audit to allow them to hire an outside auditor to expedite the review.

“Review of the Monitor’s work is especially timely with the transition to a new Mayor right around the corner and with discussions about the budget for a fifth year of work for the Monitor upcoming,” said Councilor Harris, “and so we’re allocating funding to Internal Audit so the review can be completed as early in the tenure of the new Administration as possible.”