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City to spend $600,000 on four more audits

Baltimore's spending board is set to authorize another $600,000 to hire firms to audit four key city agencies.

The Board of Estimates is expected to approve on Wednesday spending the money for audits of the city's fire, information technology, general services and housing departments. The city has already spent more than $400,000 to audit the transportation, recreation and parks and finance departments. Those are among 13 agencies that must be audited by the end of 2016.

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SB & Co. LLC is auditing the recreation and parks, general services and fire departments. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP is auditing the Mayor's Office of Information Technology. Hamilton Enterprises LLC is auditing housing and the transportation departments.

City auditors, who report to Comptroller Joan Pratt, are auditing the mayor's Department of Finance.

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Already, the first voter-mandated audits in Baltimore have fallen behind schedule.

The firms working on audits of the finance, transportation, and recreation and parks departments have not yet finished their work despite a goal of completing the audits by Sept. 3, city officials said. The city now has a goal of completing the audits of transportation and recreation and parks by Nov. 30, and finance by Dec. 30.

Pratt's Department of Audits typically conducts 10 to 20 audits a year. While an audit is performed each year of the city's overall budget, more exhaustive audits of individual agencies have been far more rare.

Baltimore council members, frustrated that some departments hadn't undergone agency-wide performance and financial audits in decades, took the issue to voters in 2012. Voters approved a charter amendment requiring that 13 key agencies be audited every four years.

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Audits of the city's police and public works departments also are underway. Under the charter amendment, all of the audits must be completed by the end of the mayor's term in December 2016.

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