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Nassau comptroller seeks new members for fiscal oversight board

The Independent Audit Advisory Committee was first created in 2003.

Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman in January 2018.

Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman in January 2018. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Nassau comptroller’s office is seeking members of the public to volunteer to serve on an unpaid advisory board that provides fiscal oversight of the county’s finances.

The Independent Audit Advisory Committee, first created in 2003 by former county Comptroller Howard Weitzman, will review Nassau’s financial reporting systems. For example, the committee will review the results of an external audit of the county’s finances, conducted in 2017 by RSM, an accounting firm based in London, to determine if actions recommended in the report have been implemented.

“This committee acts as another set of eyes and ears, and its feedback will help us develop solutions to address systemic problems like poor fiscal controls or inefficient management practices,” said county Comptroller Jack Schnirman.

The committee also will be tasked with reviewing written communications between the county and its independent auditors and will offer analysis of the comptroller’s internal audit plan and procedures. Records show the committee last issued a report on its findings in 2013.

Schnirman, who took office in January, is replacing the committee’s existing members.

The committee will comprise five members of the public who have no business connected to county government and do not hold a position in any political party or local government. Previous members included Paul Leventhal, a certified public accountant who serves on the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state oversight board in control of the county’s finances; and Lee Launer, a retired partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Schnirman’s office said it is seeking individuals with experience in budgeting, finance, accounting and auditing.

Schnirman, County Executive Laura Curran or her designee, along with a Republican and Democratic member of the county Legislature’s Finance Committee, will serve as nonvoting members of the committee, which will meet quarterly.

The committee met two or three times a year during the two terms of George Maragos, the previous county comptroller, said Schnirman spokesman Rob Busweiler.

“This committee gives local subject-matter experts who are not connected to government a seat at the table, and its role is too important to not have a consistent meeting schedule or clear goals,” Schnirman said.

Committee applicants can apply at nassaucountyny.gov.

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