office of the inspector general: ballot question #1

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

office of the inspector general: ballot question #1:

Early voting starts monday

This year’s Miami Beach ballot initiatives include establishing an Office of the Inspector General, leasing City-owned land for a hotel connected to the new Convention Center, and a General Obligation Bond. Following is a look at the Office of the Inspector General question.
 
Question #1: Shall City Charter be amended to create the Office of Inspector General, which shall be independent and empowered to:
  • investigate, audit, review, and oversee municipal matters including City contracts, programs, projects, and expenditures, in order to identify efficiencies, and detect, investigate, and prevent fraud, waste, mismanagement, misconduct, and abuse of power; and
  • subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and require production of records;
provided such Office’s appointment, term, functions, and powers shall be further established by ordinance?
 
Often referred to as “an independent watchdog,” the Mayor and City Commissioners have emphasized the Office of Inspector General (OIG) will be one check on the G.O. Bond process and expenditures if the OIG and the bonds are approved by voters. A citizens’ oversight committee will be another.
 
In discussions regarding the OIG, it has evolved from a purely investigative body to one that will also look at contracts and departments to identify and prevent waste and identify potential efficiencies.
 
According to the City’s Voter’s Guide, “The Inspector General would be appointed by a City Selection Committee, which will screen and/or interview potential candidates. However, the City Commission shall have ultimate authority to appoint the Inspector General. Before any appointment by the Selection Committee shall become effective, the appointment must be approved by a majority vote of the City Commission.”
 
The Inspector General could be removed from office with a 5/7ths vote of the City Commission.
 
Its estimated budget impact is approximately $484,000 in Fiscal Year 2018-19 and approximately $1.1 million for Fiscal Year 2019-20.
 
Budget impact estimates assume five full-time employees including the Inspector General, an attorney, an investigator, and two clerical employees.
 
Details will be established by an ordinance to come later including appointment, reappointment, term, functions, and powers of the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
 
Photo: Shutterstock.com
 

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