Internal Auditing Likely to Expand at Columbus Schools

The Columbus Board of Education is wasting little time in pushing forward a vastly expanded internal auditing office.

The Columbus School Board met last week to sign off on a plan that will nearly triple the amount of internal auditing staff from 13 members in as little as two years. Though the board wants more details before they continue with voting on more plans, most members are fine with the overall layout of the purpose for adding to the auditing staff.

By comparison, according to head internal auditor Carolyn Smith, Cleveland schools have six auditors; Cincinnati schools have only one; Ohio State University has 18; and the entire state of Ohio has 28.

While Smith wants to continue heading the internal audits in the Columbus school system, she said the extra help would make sure problems don’t get backed up and there would be less oversight if she didn’t feel rushed to perform the audits.

The major change for the school board to vote on would be finances. The office’s total budget would rise from $612,000 this year to $1.66 million by fall 2015, a 171 percent increase. That’s almost double the $850,000 that the independent auditor’s office that lost on the ballot was projected to cost.

If voters approve of the new budget to add auditors, Smith and her current staff will be able to keep their jobs and there would be no need to add an external auditing program.


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