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Jeffco’s new audit committee should be able to investigate any area
It was with interest that I read your article titled “Commissioners set to resurrect county audit committee.” As chair of the previous Jefferson County Audit Committee, I wondered when the county would again focus on accountability. As your article stated, prior to formation of the first audit committee, Jeffco was beset with numerous financial problems. The audit committee worked hard to help restore credibility to the county government. Jefferson County has been regularly recognized with Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. With that history, last year’s decision to disband this effective oversight committee was very concerning.
Forming a new audit committee is a welcome first step in restoring accountability to Jefferson County government. However, I remain concerned over the level of commitment the Board of County Commissioners has to the effectiveness of the audit committee. For an audit function to be effective, it must have the freedom to look at tough issues and ask hard questions. Commissioner Faye Griffin’s comment that the previous audit committee was “getting into some areas they weren’t supposed to get into” raises concerns that the commissioners intend to limit what the audit committee can review. Griffin goes on to say the board needs to “be aware of the areas they’re looking at.”
I hope the Board of Commissioners gives the audit committee the authority it needs to be effective. The audit committee should be composed of qualified and independent citizens. The committee must be allowed to objectively evaluate the areas of risk for the county and audit where there is the greatest risk and exposure. The citizens of Jefferson County deserve that level of accountability.
Casey Tighe
former chair of the Jeffco Audit Committee
county commissioner candidate, District 2