Berke Administration Says “Outcome Based” Auditor Not Needed

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) — Mayor Andy Berke has presented what he calls an "outcome based" budget for 2015.
He says that means his office plans to keep an eye on the various programs to see how well they are working.
But what’s to keep someone from fudging the numbers?
The city auditor wants a stronger deterrent in place.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA, MAY 28, 2014 "Budgeting for outcomes is about making the tough choices, and say there are some things we’re not going to do and do more effectively with that we can do other priorities."

One of the things the Mayor has decided not to do is change the way his office will monitor effectiveness of various programs.
He has created the Office of Performance Management to report to him.
But city auditor Stan Sewell is asking the administration two hire two people who would focus on the complicated and expensive programs, like waste water treatment.

BRENT GOLDBERG, DEP.COO, CHATTANOOGA "We have a great staff in place that includes inspectors over specifically the waste water treatment center."

STAN SEWELL, CITY AUDITOR "If you’re going to hold people accountable based on certain benchmarks and goals..and then they are going to report on how they’re doing …There’s an inventive to fudge those numbers if you’re looking bad. Right?"

The mayor’s office thinks they’ve got that covered.

BRENT GOLDBERG, DEP.COO,CHATTANOOGA "I think Mayor Berke believes that its important that we do performance management versus auditing."

Sewell says his idea is just an extra step toward transparency.

STAN SEWELL " It doesn’t mean people are going to do that, and let’s hope our public officials have the integrity not to do that…but the incentive is there so the risk is up, so we proposed that auditor to do that."

Despite the disagreement—it’s not a fight between entities.

STAN SEWELL "Absolutely not, our goal is to be an asset to the mayor and the administration ..As well as an asset to council ..And the taxpayers."

The city auditor’s office is an independent entity .
Sewell points out it has no alliance or allegiance to any one faction.

Categories: Government & Politics, Local News

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