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Cypress County Council considers forming audit committee

By ANNA SMITH on May 8, 2024.

The Cypress County Council is discussing the creation of a financial audit committee Tuesday. – Screenshot of live streaming on YouTube

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Cypress County plans to create a financial audit committee to help ensure transparency and compliance with statutes. The motion was first presented by Council. Robin Kurpjuweit at the April 3 meeting as notice of motion, and resurfaced on Tuesday. Interim CEO Steven Toews noted that this was an issue that had also been considered from an administrative perspective, with the intention of presenting something around September. He noted that “some benefits of this audit committee could be increased accountability, improved transparency, risk mitigation, increased efficiency and effectiveness. And one of the downsides might be that it will require a little more resources than going to our financial and accounting supervisor. The idea, Kurpjuweit said, is to conduct “spot audits” and checks to ensure that policies and procedures are being followed and that those policies are working as intended. “As a foster parent, I will bring some of my own experience working with big government, big systems and big legislation. Sometimes when things get tough, policies and procedures are established that don’t really work well,” Kurpjuweit said. He added that ideally he would like this committee to function from a financial and administrative standpoint, but that he was open to what such a committee might look like and was inclined to look into the wishes of the administration to ensure that he would accomplish what everyone was looking for. The motion itself was called a “straw dog” by Toews, something proposed largely to facilitate discussion and “an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and take a closer look at the finances of the county”. The motion received mixed reactions from councilors, with some favoring the creation of the committee, while others felt it was already council’s duty to review policies and procedures. It was suggested that policies could potentially be rotated through meetings until each policy had been reviewed, as a possible alternative to committee. “Most of the time when we get a policy that comes back, it’s been reviewed by the administration, not necessarily by the county council as a whole,” Coun. said. Dustin Vossler. “We went through it four days before, and it’s up to us to go through it and make our decisions.” Vossler added that he thought a committee would allow a few members to examine policies and their applications in more depth, even if they end up being presented to a full committee. He also added that a select committee could be helpful, as different ideas could be presented depending on who is present. The motion will be brought back in July, with the administration expected to present a more concrete idea for how the proposed committee would work. 13
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