Who's at fault for Baltimore's misplaced $40 million?
The Baltimore Sun's Annie Linskey is reporting on $40 million "found" by an audit in a Baltimore City account, and, as expected, reaction is strong.
The message boards on the Baltimore Sun's Web site are alive with several interesting thoughts and observations:
a) Poster Occam raises the question of why previous audits had not raised questions about this account. Are auditors at least as much to blame as the city finance department?
b) George-WNEC sheds some light on municipal financing practices, alerting us that government officials are often adept at "hiding" money in sub-accounts so that their agency budgets don't get penalized for unspent funds by seeing reductions in subsequent years. While that doesn't seem to be what happened here, but it's an interesting observation.
c) And Jethro666 coyly raises a good point: Where was O'Malley's vaunted CitiStat program while these funds were accumulating.
Let the debate continue. Here's some more questions: Should heads roll? If so, whose?
Or is this just something that happens in large, complex organizations, especially those with workforces of, shall we say, uneven talent?