New committee members to join Yolo County

KYLA ROUNDS / AGGIE

Financial Oversight Committee has open seats to fill

The Yolo County Financial Oversight Committee currently has positions open for volunteers to serve for a total of three years. The positions will be decided by the Board of Supervisors for Yolo County.

Beth Gabor, Yolo County’s public information officer, believes that the committee does not have a focus on improving its budgeting roles, but rather serves a different purpose.

“I don’t believe that is the role of the committee,” Gabor said.

Gabor directed information on the FOC to a written statement the county posted.

The document mentions that “the purpose of the Financial Oversight Committee (FOC) is to provide oversight on treasury operations, leadership and independence over the monitoring, review and audit of the County’s business activities; and provide oversight that helps to further ensure accountability and transparency over the budgetary and tax distribution processes to further demonstrate good stewardship of public resources.”

Furthermore, the FOC document states that FOC performs all of its duties in an advisory role to the Board of Supervisors and its chairperson has “the authority to perform all statutory duties of a treasury oversight committee and to initiate or authorize review of any matters within its scope of responsibility.”

Mary Khoshmashrab, the internal audit manager for Yolo County, said that the committee has responsibilities other than budgeting that continue to change.

“Goals are ongoing, every year, depending on the discussion we are having,” Khoshmashrab said. “For example, for oversight and audit, they’re able to make comments and suggestions. That audit plan consists of risks that have been identified the prior year around the county, or we consider the grand jury issues and what they are concerned about.”

While the FOC does not currently have a goal to improve budgeting, it strives to maintain transparency and continue to grow with new changes every year.

“We take all those into consideration, and we develop an annual audit plan for the next year and we bring it to the committee for their perspective and views to finalize,” Khoshmashrab said. “We review that throughout the year, making provisions as necessary, and keep a quarterly report on the status of that and if we’re meeting those milestones.”

The process involves many different types of people within the committee as information passes along for clarification.

“The Committee shall advise the board on the selection of an independent, qualified, and licensed outside auditor to conduct an annual audit of the internal controls of the County,” Khoshmashrab said via email. “The auditor shall report to the Committee the results of the audit upon completion of the audit report. The Committee shall review the audit report and make recommendations to the Board related to the audit’s findings. The Committee shall advise the Board on the recruitment, hiring, and termination of the Chief Financial Officer.”

Khoshmashrab also elaborated on who the committee is looking for to volunteer to fill in seats, as it is a three-year term that affects many different parts of the board and the city.

“It’s an unpaid seat on the committee, and it depends,” Khoshmashrab said. “We have two board members like non-voting members who sit on that and external auditors. We have two public members [including] one member that represents the cities in Yolo, one that represents the special districts and one that represents education.”

The Chief Financial Officer will be seeking recommendations from committee members and any other appropriate sources to fill vacancies on the committee.

“Members shall be nominated by the CFO and confirmed by the Board of Supervisors,” Khoshmashrab said. “Each committee member is to be both independent and financially literate.  At least one member shall have financial expertise. ‘Independent’ in this context means devoid of any potential conflict of interest.”

Khoshmashrab noted that the vacancies will only search for those who are the best fit for the position.

“Those vacancies get filled for the most qualified people,” Khoshmashrab said. “We also invite the current members to reapply, and from there we consider the most adept to benefit the oversight aspect of the county members.”

 

 

Written by: Stella Tran — city@theaggie.org