CLERK & COMPTROLLER INVESTIGATIVE TEAM IDENTIFIES, RECOUPS MONEY OWED TO COUNTY
Clerk Bock’s Team Also Receives Inspector General Accreditation After Independent Review by Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (April 6, 2011) – In 2010 alone, investigations by Clerk & Comptroller Sharon Bock’s Audit Services and Public Integrity units identified more than $820,000 in assessments and taxes not paid to Palm Beach County government. As the county’s elected Clerk & Comptroller, Bock is responsible for safeguarding taxpayer dollars and auditing county government’s revenue and paying all the county’s bills. Last month, Bock deposited $230,000 into the county’s bank account as a result of her office’s efforts to collect on the unpaid funds.
It’s because of this kind of investigative excellence that the office was named an Accredited Office of Inspector General by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation in February. The Clerk & Comptroller is the first accredited IG in Palm Beach County.
Inspectors General are government officials who conduct investigations to identify and/or prevent fraud, waste and abuse. The accreditation means the Clerk’s investigative team follows high standards set for Offices of Inspector General. It comes after a team of assessors from the Commission visited the Clerk’s office in December 2010 to examine the division’s investigative policies and procedures.
“Having an IG accredited investigative team within the Clerk’s office is another layer of protection for the public to ensure that their tax dollars are protected,” said Clerk Bock following the accreditation presentation. “The Commission’s independent assessment and accreditation underscores our team’s level of professionalism, integrity and significant impact on our taxpayers’ bottom line.”
The Audit Services Division, established by Clerk Bock in 2005, was renamed the Division of Inspector General in 2009 to standardize its functions, which include investigations of suspected fraud, waste, abuse or ethical misconduct reported through the Clerk’s Ethic’s Hotline or other sources. Many of the Clerk’s investigations have been turned over to law enforcement for prosecution. Since 2005, the Clerk’s IG and Finance divisions have saved taxpayers an estimated $20 million in unauthorized, duplicate or questionable expenses.
Florida statutes require all 30+ state agencies in Florida to have an IG “to provide a central point for coordination of and responsibility for activities that promote accountability, integrity, and efficiency in government.” Only seven of Florida’s state agencies with IGs are accredited. In addition, the Palm Beach County Clerk is one of only two clerks in Florida with IG accreditation.
The Clerk not only audits county finances, but also conducts internal financial, compliance, operational and performance audits which have led to improved efficiency within the Clerk’s office. Both internal audits of the Clerk’s office and external reviews, including the 2010 audits that identified more than $820,000 in unpaid taxes and assessments, are available on the Inspector General section of the Clerk & Comptroller’s website, www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.
Clerk Bock’s Division of Inspector General staff includes Inspector General/Audit Director Roger Trca, Deputy Inspector General and Audit Manager Alan Bray, Investigator and Senior Auditor Michael Bodle, Senior Internal Auditor Anthony Palmieri, and Audit Project Administrator Charles Mansen, all of whom have multiple certifications in the IG, Audit and Fraud detection professions.
For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call (561) 355-2996. For more information about accreditation or for a list of other Florida agencies with IG accreditation, please visit the Commission website, www.flaccreditation.org.
The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.
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