City Commission Votes to Establish an Office of Inspector General

City Commission Votes to Establish an Office of Inspector General

At the June 17th meeting, the City Commission voted 5-0 to introduce a proposed ordinance necessary to establish an Office of Inspector General under the authority of the City Auditor. The first and only public hearing for the ordinance is scheduled for July 8, 2020.

During the December 4, 2019, City Commission meeting the Commission directed the City Auditor to bring information back to the City Commission for consideration.

Key points related to the establishment of an Office of Inspector General addressed in the ordinance include:

  • The Inspector General is authorized to audit, investigate, inspect and evaluate the activities, records and individuals with contracts, procurements, grants, agreements and other financial arrangements undertaken by the City and any other function, activity, process or operation conducted by the City.
  • The Inspector General is considered the “appropriate local official” of the City under Section 112.3187(6), Florida Statutes, for purposes of whistleblower protection and filing a whistleblower complaint pursuant to Sections 112.3187(7) and 112.3188(1), Florida Statutes.
  • The Inspector General will establish, maintain and operate a fraud hotline to receive complaints of fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement or misconduct from either anonymous or identified persons.
  • The Inspector General has no authority over the Ethics Board, its members and employees or the performance of the Board’s duties and responsibilities.
  • The Inspector General has the authority to subpoena City employees, officers, officials, vendors, contractors or others doing business with the City and members of City boards, commissions, or committees as witnesses, administer oaths or affirmations, take testimony and compel the production of such books, papers, records and documents, including electronic data as is deemed to be relevant to any inquiry or investigation.

15 Responses to "City Commission Votes to Establish an Office of Inspector General"

  1. Avatar
    COT Hostage   June 23, 2020 at 9:55 am

    Don’t we already have an Independent Ethics Board?

    Why do the Mayor and City Commission need an inspector general that answers directly to them? Are they afraid of Independent oversight?

    We don’t need an IG to tell us there are problems. The City Manager has to be held accountable for the rot he oversees, but this commission is more concerned with looking like they are doing something than actually doing something.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Simone Jameson   June 25, 2020 at 12:06 am

      Yeah, this Inspector General item is 100% a Trojan horse that will be followed by an attempt to dismantle the Independent Ethics Board. The bigwigs want to ditch the Ethics Board, create an airport authority (taxing authority), and probably pursue stronger executive powers via changes to the City Charter in 2022. It’s a long game and this seemingly innocuous window-dressing move is part of it.

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    TONY   June 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Just replace the City Auditor with the Office of Inspector General since the Inspector General will be doing the same things plus a little more. You need to stop creating all these things that over lap each other in responsibilities, it’s as if you are trying to create Jobs so you can fill them with your Donors as payback.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Hope   June 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    If they need an Inspector General then it’s time to vote them out. This group creating an Inspector General will just be a position to buffer them from public scrutiny rather than protecting the public at Large.

    Vote all incumbents out, O-U-T!

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Thomas C. Hooker   June 23, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Will it be Julie Meadows O’Keefe? Lila Jabor? A lobbyist? City vendor? Someone from Bethel? Friend of The Mayor of Bedrock?

    As an aside, I am with Tony kinda. Create a new office but it reports to a mayor and commissioner approved City Auditor? Alternate universe. The Song Remains The Same.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      TONY   June 23, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      Oh you KNOW it will have someone from Bethel. That’s a given.

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    Snidely Whiplash   June 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Here is the chain of command of concern:
    Reese Goad City Manger
    City Auditor
    Office of The Inspector General

    See the problem?

    In order for the fabulous new warm fuzzy feeling of trust for the COT Employees and COT Citizens to actually become a real thing we would require an honest man at the top of the chain of command. Wouldent we?

    Well we dont have that in Reese Goad now do we?
    No we dont.

    Nice try looser Commissioners but once again you are spinning your wheels and spending our money and accomplishing nothing whatsoever.
    What’s wrong with you Commissioners?
    A quote from Grandma: “You all aint got no good sense.”
    Thanks Grandma.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Staff   June 23, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      City Auditor is hired by and reports directly to City Commission.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Snidely Whiplash   June 23, 2020 at 6:35 pm

        Thank you that is good information!!!

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Ben   June 23, 2020 at 9:57 pm

        The way I read the ordinance …………..the City Auditor will be the IG, not two separate things (kinda weird being both City Auditor and IG but whatever). All it appears to do is add investigative authority to the City Auditor and change the name.
        The question that needs to be asked…..is this just a change in name only or will the City Auditor/IG have resources to really do investigations or will this just take away from auditing.

        I guess this makes a little sense, the Independent Ethics Board has been around something like 5 years and never investigated anything (football tickets, wedding discounts, and so on)….including keep its own house in order (cough Julie Meadows-Keefe cough cough). Someone needs to do it.

        Reply
  6. Avatar
    Vernon   June 23, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    If they’re going to use an Inspector General, the ethics board should be abolished. There’s just no need for both….unless it just a political payoff job…then we’ll probably need at least 12 independant members on the ethics board at $175k salary.

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Anon   June 23, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    CoverUp General
    on another Note: Respiratory Acidosis is a Medical Condition

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Terry Ryan   June 23, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    In the corporate world, audit departments report directly to the Board. In Tallahassee, it reports to the City Manager, not to the Commissioners. Ergo, the new IG reports to someone they could turn out investigating! NO!

    However, not unexpected, since in 2011 Commissioners approved the City Manager to approve bidded infrastructure fast track contracts, no matter how much! Previously, contracts over $250K had to be approved by Commissioners.

    Also, the City Manager is not even required to include these contracts as an agenda item to at least review. Comm Miller expressed concerns of Commissioners relinquishing this serious responsibility. Commission approved stipulating a one year review.

    A recent PRR did not produce evidence this review occurred. Comments from City staff, however, indicated they loved not having to include these approvals in Commissioners’ Agenda since it saved them a lot of time putting Agendas together!

    Once again, so much for transparency to us citizens.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Terry Ryan   June 23, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    My Correction: City Auditor DOES report to and is hired by Commissioners – so, IG reporting to Auditor should be acceptable, in my humble opinion, if given leeway needed. Time will tell.

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    Lynette Halter   June 27, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Sounds like too easily be an political appointment since under city auditor. Why isn’t an audit done by someone NOT connected to Tallahassee government?

    Reply

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