Purcellville Council Seeks Audit of Government Operations

The Town of Purcellville advancing plans to conduct an operational audit of its government structure early next year.

Town Council on Tuesday night discussed the possibility of hiring an outside firm to handle the audit, which, according to Councilwoman Karen Jimmerson, would “conduct an external review of the efficiency of various departments within the Town of Purcellville.”

Jimmerson said the auditor would interview employees in each department to evaluate how the town is handling business such as contract negotiations, staffing, accounting systems, inventory control and how it carries out its policies, practices and procedures.

“They will be critical to developing our plan forward of how we structure ourselves and how we organize the organization,” Jimmerson said.

A possible timeline for moving ahead with the process would have the town deciding how much to spend in January before developing and approving the scope of work in February. Jimmerson said, at this point, the council could also decide if it wants to put together a committee to handle the auditor search. The committee would be made up of two council members, members of staff and newly appointed Interim Town Manager John Anzivino. Councilman Doug McCollum said Anzivino, who has worked for 25 years as a town manager and county administrator in three jurisdictions, would be a good resource since he is familiar with operational audits.

The town could then send out a request for proposal in March and review the best responses in April. From May to August, the audit could be conducted.

“It should only take about three months to complete one,” Jimmerson said.

Councilman Ryan Cool said council sought to conduct an operational audit in 2016, but it was pushed back “very strongly” by former town manager Rob Lohr. He said the audit is especially needed now, though.

“I think when you’re in the middle of what we’re in now, now is the time to do this,” he said. “Time is wasting.”

Although most council members agreed an audit was needed, Jimmerson said it isn’t in response to staff’s work.

“This is not a criticism of our staff,” she said. “It has nothing to do with that at all.”

Council will discuss the audit’s timeline in more detail at its first meeting on Jan. 9.

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