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City advised to appoint audit committee

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The city of Ogdensburg has been advised to appoint a committee to help review its annual audits.

The city council was told Tuesday it was a good idea during a discussion of the city’s 61-page 2012 audit.

“It’s a good idea,” said Donald L. Hooper of the accounting firm Pinto Mucenski Hooper VanHouse and Co., Ogdensburg. “We believe the concept of an audit committee is a good concept and we have seen success with it in other circumstances.”

Mr. Hooper further explained the advantages of a council audit committee in the report’s summary.

“It is now common practice among elected boards to designate a group of city councilors to work closely with the external auditors during the audit and report back to the full board pertinent information throughout the process,” Mr. Hooper said. “Members of the audit committee are those individuals who may better understand the intricacies of the governmental reporting and may have a financial background.”

Local school districts and the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, Mr. Hooper pointed out, have audit committees.

The councilors are receptive to the concept.

“I think it would help us keep an eye on the day to day cash flow,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Morley.

Councilor Jennifer Stevenson agreed.

“I think it’s a very good idea,” she said. “Any more oversight you can have can never hurt.”

The audit’s findings concluded that there were “no deficiencies” and “no instances of non-compliance” related to the city’s financial statements. Nor were there any “control deficiencies” in the city’s oversight of federally-funded programs.

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