Audit Charter Amendment Goes to Voters

The Baltimore City Council passed legislation on Monday that would require the city to perform audits on city agencies every four years.

Baltimore voters will get to decide whether to amend the City Charter to require audits of major city agencies every four years.

The City Council voted to approve the measure Monday and it will go before voters on Nov. 6 in the general election after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signs the legislation.

The version of the charter amendment that was passed is than what supporters, such as North Baltimore council members Carl Stokes, Mary Pat Clarke and Bill Henry, had initially wanted.

They wanted audits to be performed of 14 different city agencies every two years, that has been reduced to 13 agencies being audited every four years.

Ian Brennan, a spokesman for Rawlings-Blake, said in an email that the mayor will sign the bill.

"The mayor has always been a supporter of audits. Robust auditing is a key component of sound fiscal management. This Charter Amendment goes beyond what our city charter already requires. It would make our auditing requirement more rigorous than the charters of Baltimore county and countless other municipalities throughout the country," Brennan wrote

The administration has maintained they support audits, but that the responsibility falls to the city auditor to perform annual audits of the financial transactions of all municipal agencies. Under the charter, the city auditor reports to the comptroller.

The administration has also pointed out that the city already performs an independent audit annually of all accounts, revenues and receipts by KPMG that costs $400,000 and takes four months to complete.

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