News

City Auditor's Office wins national awards

Office recognized with awards for vehicle-fleet audit, annual survey of city services

Leadership turnover hasn't kept the City Auditor's Office in Palo Alto from racking up awards, including a national award for its recent audit of the city's vehicle fleet.

The Association of Local Government Auditors recent awarded the fleet audit its Knighton Award, recognizing it as the best performance audit of 2010 for a small office. In handing Palo Alto the "gold" award, the association cited the report's "significant, well-supported findings that focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. The audit, the association wrote, had "significant impact" in achieving "immediate and ongoing savings opportunities."

The report, which was issued in April 2010 under the leadership of then-City Auditor Lynda Brouchoud and former Senior Auditor Edwin Young, found that more than a third of the city's transport vehicles are underused; that city workers didn't consistently lock the vehicles; and that the city's fleet data is outdated and incomplete. It included 22 recommendations for improved recordkeeping, better fleet management and a pool of vehicles for different departments to share.

The audit prompted Palo Alto officials to suspend and revamp the city's vehicle-replacement program. The city estimates that the audit helped identify nearly $7 million in savings to the city.

"This report had a significant impact demonstrated by the immediate ongoing cost savings opportunities it presented during a particularly difficult economic climate," Mayor Sid Espinosa said in a statement. "The City of Palo Alto places a high priority on transparency and accountability and the work of City Auditor's Office helps ensure City government runs as effectively and efficiently as possible."

The auditor's office also received an award from the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) for its annual Service Efforts and Accomplishments Report -- a comprehensive survey of city services and community opinions about these services. This was the sixth year in a row that the annual survey received the association's "Gold Award for Excellence in SEA reporting." The office also received a "Certificate of Excellence in Citizen-Centric Reporting."

The office continues to garner national recognition despite personnel changes at the top. Brouchoud went on maternity leave in October and the city announced her resignation in March. Michael Edmonds has been serving as interim city auditor since October and remains in this position while the city is looking for Brouchoud's permanent replacement. The City Council's Council Appointed Officer Committee plans to meet on April 27 to consider hiring an executive firm that would assist the city with the search.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I wonder how many residents have read the SE&A reports? It might save a lot of misstatements in the blogs about our government and it operation.


Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm

The Palo Alto SEA report or Service Efforts Report might have won a lot of awards, but how many people actually read the report. I think the report should be more widely used and recognized by the community.

I took the time to read the 2009 Palo Alto Service Efforts Report online. The staff who worked on it did an amazing job. Thank you former City Auditor Lynda Brouchoud, Ian Hagerman, Rochelle Sazegari, Melanie Staples and Lisa Wehara for doing such a great job on the (SEA) Service Efforts and Accomplishment report. This report definitely does not get the recognition from the community that it deserves.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve Mclaughlin
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

The Palo Alto library system is FOREVER AWESOME because:
- It always has all the popular new-release DVDs... sometimes more than 10 copies of the really in-demand ones. For example: right now they have 26 (!!!) copies of The King's Speech.
- You can place a hold on any book, DVD, etc. When your hold item arrives at the branch of your choice, you get an email notification & you have a week to pick it up.
- Holds are free (unlike some other library systems, where you have to pay for each hold)
- You get an email reminder a couple of days before your books are due
- It's part of the LINK+ network, which means that if the PA libraries don't have a book that you want, you can most likely find & borrow it from a large network of libraries.
- You can have up to 10 items on hold for your account
- You can keep DVDs for 2 weeks (it used to be 1 week)

This particular branch has a very large selection of DVDs and books. There are also study carrels, multiple computer workstations, and free hand sanitizer!

This location isn't a super-cozy place to study or read, but it more than suffices. You can usually find parking in one of the two lots.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve McLaughlin
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

The Palo Alto library system is THE BOMB because:
- It always has all the popular new-release DVDs... sometimes more than 10 copies of the really in-demand ones. For example: right now they have 26 (!!!) copies of The King's Speech.
- You can place a hold on any book, DVD, etc. When your hold item arrives at the branch of your choice, you get an email notification & you have a week to pick it up.
- Holds are free (unlike some other library systems, where you have to pay for each hold)
- You get an email reminder a couple of days before your books are due
- It's part of the LINK+ network, which means that if the PA libraries don't have a book that you want, you can most likely find & borrow it from a large network of libraries.
- You can have up to 10 items on hold for your account
- You can keep DVDs for 2 weeks (it used to be 1 week)

This particular branch has a very large selection of DVDs and books. There are also study carrels, multiple computer workstations, and free hand sanitizer!

This location isn't a super-cozy place to study or read, but it more than suffices. You can usually find parking in one of the two lots.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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