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Auditors unite!

July 03, 2009

Re "Judge's ruling backs Delgadillo in fight with Chick over audits," June 24

Former City Controller Laura Chick did a superlative job overseeing taxpayer dollars, highlighting deficiencies and recommending improvements in L.A. city operations.

As municipal auditors ourselves, we are very disappointed that a judge's ruling on the city of Los Angeles' charter limits the city controller's authority to conduct audits of certain departments and programs. Government audits provide independent assurance that public funds are well managed, spent prudently and provide the expected services.

Chick devoted her career to oversight for the public, uncovering many instances of fraud and abuse. The citizens of Los Angeles are better off as a result.

On behalf of municipal auditors everywhere, we encourage voters to amend their charter to permit city controllers to conduct audits of all city programs, wherever they may fall in the city's organization.

Laura Doud

Ann-Marie Hogan

The writers are the elected auditors for the city of Long Beach and the city of Berkeley.

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I'm deeply disappointed by the recent L.A. Superior Court ruling that curbs the authority of the city controller. Though this ruling is not the last word on this issue, it does hinder all independently elected municipal auditors to effectively do their job -- a job voters elected them to do -- to ensure integrity and effectiveness in the use of their tax dollars.

The lawsuit was an attempt to shield local politicians from the relentless truth-seeking audits of the former city controller, Laura Chick. By muzzling the city's watchdog, the lawsuit did no one, other than elected officials, a favor.

More than ever, with looming budget deficits and services being cut, we need municipal auditors to be unfettered in their ability to ask the hard questions, uncover waste and fraud and ensure transparency in government.

Courtney A. Ruby

Oakland

The writer is the Oakland city auditor.

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