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Auditing City Hall?

A deputy comptroller from Philadelphia will testify about the importance of regular audits of city agencies during a hearing this Thursday at City Hall.

Most city agencies have not been audited in 30 years, said City Councilman Carl Stokes, chair of the council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee. Stokes is holding the informational hearing, set to begin at 10 a.m. in City Council chambers to center on legislation to establish regular audits that will be put before voters in November as a Charter Amendment.

Stokes said Monday he has invited 1st Deputy Comptroller Harvey Rice of Philadelphia to testify about guidelines and best practices for audits of city agencies.

The auditing issue has roiled Stokes for nearly a year.

He introduced legislation in the spring that would have required city officials to conduct financial and performance audits of the 45 city agencies every two years.

That measure was defeated by the council in an 8-7 vote. But at the council’s next meeting, eight amendments were added to the original bill, which reduced the number of city agencies to be audited to 15 — every four years.

“No one remembers when departments, such as Recreation and Parks, were audited last,” Stokes said, in a statement. “In truth, we don’t know if the numbers we are voting on in the budget are real. All this bill asked the City Council to do is to allow the voters to decide whether they want audits.”

Many Maryland counties and jurisdictions perform audits annually, Stokes has said.


  1. Sadly this is only allowed to happen because the city leaders know they can get away with it. Nonetheless, it does not make it any less wrong.

  2. We want to be sure that all of the quasi-governmental groups are part of these audits as that is where most of the fraud is happening. We also want these audits online and available to the public.