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FCPS needs an Office of Inspector General

FCPS needs an Office of Inspector General

From: Charles R. McAndrew
Sent: Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 5:05 PM
To: Ms. Sandy Evans, Chair of the FCPS Board, and the following FCPS Board Members:
Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Elizabeth Schultz, Jane Strauss, Tamara Derenak Kaufax,
Karen Corbett Sanders, Ryan McElveen, Ilryong Moon, Jeanette Hough, Pat Hynes,
and the Interim Superintendent Dr. Steven Lockard

Subject: Establishing an OIG

Dear Madame Chairman, FCPS Board Members, and the Superintendent of the FCPS:

On Thursday 23 February, Tom Cranmer, Tim Hannigan and I attended a Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) Board meeting. All School Board Members were present plus the Interim Superintendent of the FCPS. The main point of this meeting was to discuss the FCPS auditing problems. As I understand, the FCPS fired their Auditor General and audit assistant sometime last year. The Board stated that they will seek a new Auditor General.

I was the first speaker and I mentioned that when I worked for the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) as the Chief of Financial System division in the Office of the CFO during the nineties, I dealt with our Agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) frequently. We always got along and they provided positive feedback in their audit reports. USIA was a one billion dollar agency and had an OIG. At the end of 1999, USIA was merged into the U.S. Department of State. They, along with every other Federal Government Department and Agency has the OIG. I have been told that the D.C. Government and Montgomery County also have an OIG. The FCPS has a budget of $2.8 BILLION, yet does not have an OIG nor even an Auditor General! I told the School Board that I recommend an OIG.

I mentioned to the Board that the mission of the OIG is to conduct audits, investigations, evaluations, and inspections to promote economy, efficiency, and accountability to prevent and detect waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the programs and operations of an organization. This is an independent office that strives to maintain the highest level of trust, integrity, and professionalism. The investigators have the authority to prosecute individuals for fraud. In my experience in the Federal Government, I have seen that the OIG has paid for itself through their findings and recommendations.

Having an Auditor General position, as described in a January 2017 statement by the FCPS Board, does not provide adequate independence for reviewing management policy and proposed budget review. Having an IG would normally have this needed independence. If you decide to hire an Auditor General, that person should be a Certified Public Accountant and have at least a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a heavy emphasis on accounting and experience in the field of auditing and/or accounting. Still, this does not equal the experience you would have in an IG. I recommend an independent OIG be established for the FCPS that would report to the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board Of Supervisors. I look forward to your written responses.

Tom Cranmer was the fifth speaker and he also spoke on the importance of hiring an OIG for the FCPS. His speech was published in the Fairfax Free Citizen.

Sincerely,

Charles McAndrew
FCTA Board Member
12808 Willow Glen Ct
Oak Hill, VA. 20171