Weymouth needs a forensic audit – by Anne Hilbert

Weymouth needs a forensic audit; put a Proposition 2 1/2 override on the back burner.

Weymouth had a change of government in 2000. There were a group of citizens who were frustrated at the way the town was conducting its business. Every time you picked up the newspaper there was a new scandal about the corruption that was taking place in our town.

One headline read We have a secure payroll now; what was reported was we had two payrolls each from the police, and fire, and the treasurer’s office and one each from the DPW, and the library. These departments were able to access our files. A library clerk could go in on the police payroll and change the number of hours a particular police officer worked. The treasurer collector at the time stated he knew who had access but “It didn’t occur to me that we needed more security”  (Weymouth News, July 30, 1997)

When the change in government occurred in 2000 a forensic audit should have followed. But this did not happen and things only got worse.

Here’s what a forensic audit would do for Weymouth:  it would analyze and compare statements with other sources on the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flow. Footnote disclosures could tell another story. Most fraudulent activity is hidden or manipulated and forensic auditors dig deeper unlike a regular audit, that spot checks numbers.

The East Weymouth Neighborhood Association held a meeting with Councillor Arthur Mathews, and Mayor Sue Kay there to answer questions. My question to them is why have we had not done a forensic audit. Mathews said we pay an auditor $54,000 per year for an auditing firm, plus we have a town auditor. Correct, but the town auditor only works 20 hours part time the charter states that the job is to be full time.

Our state auditor did a great job auditing the books at South Shore Tri-Town, but she can only do state agencies. If we want a forensic audit we need the approval of our town council an the council does not see the need.

Article seven in our town charter allows the citizens to put a question like this on the ballot with a required number of signatures.

© Copyright 2013 Anne Hilbert, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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