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Baltimore creates new audits site

Baltimore's finance department has created a new page on its website for residents to track the progress of the 13 agency-level audits the city must undergo by next year.

Finance director Henry Raymond said he expects the first four agency audits to be completed by June 30.

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City Council members, frustrated that some Baltimore departments had not undergone agency-wide performance and financial audits in decades, put the issue on the 2012 ballot. Voters approved a charter amendment that requires the city's 13 key agencies to undergo such audits every four years.

Under the law, agencies have the choice of being audited by the comptroller's office or one of four outside firms. The 13 audits must be completed by the end of 2016.

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The first departments being audited are Finance, Recreation and Parks, Police, Public Works and Transportation, according to the mayor's office.

The audits have generally cost more than $100,000 per agency thus far.

Comptroller Joan M. Pratt's Department of Audits typically conducts 10 to 20 audits a year, though its website has not been updated to report on such work in two years. Her office performs more annual audits than Baltimore's surrounding counties and some similar-sized cities, such as Oklahoma City and Tucson, Ariz., but fewer than others, such as San Francisco, Las Vegas and Washington.

City Auditor Robert McCarty said Monday the comptroller's audits site will be updated within two weeks.

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

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