Utah city council to create independent audit division

The city council of Salt Lake City, Utah, recently voted to create a legislative audit division that will be independent of the elected auditor in the executive branch of government, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. The Division of Legislative Audit and Internal Controls will not require the hiring of any new staff, and its committee will consist of the existing nine-member city council.

The vote came in the midst of talks between the council and city auditor Greg Hawkins regarding how large of a role the city auditor should play in the county's financial affairs. Freshman councilman Richard Snelgrove, who was the only city council member to vote against the measure, said that having an elected auditor to oversee payroll, accounting, and internal audit solutions and functions would better serve taxpayers.

According to council chairman Max Burdick, the council has a statutory duty to oversee the county's operations, and the state legislature has independent audit authority.

"This is how the state does it," he said, as reported by the Deseret News. "This is our job description."

Although the ordinance does not strip the elected auditor's office of power, some council members have recommended transferring the auditor's staffers into the county council office, according to the news source.

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