Monday, Finance Committee to Hear Improved City Internal Audit Plan

Published : Monday, October 23, 2017 | 5:26 AM

The Finance/Audit Committee of the Pasadena City Council is meeting Monday to receive a new internal audit plan for fiscal year 2018 – the result of a comprehensive review of the City’s internal audit procedures that started in late 2015 after a new internal audit manager was appointed.

The Committee will also discuss proposed amendments to the Capital Improvement Program budget and to the Adopted Operating Budget for fiscal year 2018, as well as a proposed contract for a “Lower Arroyo Main Entrance Improvements” project before these are forwarded to the full City Council later Monday evening.

These three items are listed under New Business in the Committee’s agenda, and are among the Consent Calendar items listed in the full City Council agenda – which means they can be approved by one motion and one vote Monday night.

The proposed amendments to the Capital Improvements Projects 2018 budget includes 18 projects that could increase the CIP allocation for next year by a total of $1,293,990, according to the Fiscal Segment of an Agenda Report prepared by the City’s Department of Public Works.

The proposed operating budget amendments, on the other hand, lists 18 budget items which will increase the total authorized operating appropriations by a net amount of $275,667, according to a Department of Finance Agenda Report. The proposed amendments are either “carry forwards” of previously approved appropriations from the 2017 budget that were unexpended as of June 30, 2017 and are now anticipated to be expended in 2018, or amendments to the 2018 Operating Budget based on information that was not available when the operating budget was presented to the City Council in June.

The other New Business item for the Finance Committee, which is on the City Council’s Consent Calendar Monday, is the Lower Arroyo Main Entrance Improvements project, where the Public Works Department is recommending that the City Council accept a bid by Access Pacific Inc. to enhance the current main entrance to the Lower Arroyo Seco.

The contract will cost the City $132,000, about $66,000 of which is proposed to be taken from Residential Impact Fees.

Describing the project, the Public Works Department said “unattractive” existing steel pole gates at the entrance will be replaced with new tubular steel gates and arroyo stone pilasters, “similar to the existing entry gate at La Casita del Arroyo.”

“The four stone pilasters will be constructed using arroyo stones with mortar to match the style of the pilasters at La Casita del Arroyo. The proposed work will also include removal and replacement of a portion of the existing driveway apron; repair of the asphalt paving; slurry seal of asphalt paving; and construction of concrete curb and cobble median paving,” the report said.

Public Works said the design was presented to the public and to the Recreation and Parks Commission in July 2016, and reviewed by the Design Commission in January 2017. Both commissions supported the design concept, the report said.

The project was advertised for bidding purposes on May 11, and two bids were received on May 31. Both bids, however, were rejected for exceeding the engineer’s estimate and the available project balance.

After a new advertisement in September, four prime contractors submitted their bids this month.

The Public Works Department said Access Pacific Inc., a Pasadena company, was the lowest responsive and responsible bidder among the four, and is recommending approval of the $132,000 contract.

Construction is expected to begin in January 2018 and could be completed by March.

On Monday’s Finance/Audit Committee meeting, the City Manager’s Office is submitting its Internal Audit Plan for fiscal year 2018, prepared principally by the City’s new Internal Audit Manager, Ruther Holden, who was appointed in November 2015, a year after the City exposed details of a $6.4-million embezzlement scheme involving a public works employee, Danny Wooten, who was later terminated and charged.

The embezzlement scandal also led to two department heads being fired in January 2015.

Holden was the former Chief Auditor at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for 10 years before she was hired as Pasadena’s Internal Audit Manager, and was senior auditor at the Federal Defense Contract Audit Agency before that.

In an Agenda Report for the Finance/Audit Committee, Holden said she began building a framework for a comprehensive internal audit function intended to prevent fraud at all City government agencies and offices right after her appointment. She said one of the first steps in the process was to draft an Internal Audit Framework, which the City Council approved in February 2016.

The Framework says the City will adopt the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) International Professional Practices Framework to comply with California’s internal audit requirements.

Holden is expected to present her Annual Citywide Risk Assessment and Internal Audit Plan for 2018 in detail before the Finance/Audit Committee, which meets at 4 p.m. at the City Council Chamber, Room S249 at City Hall.

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