Last year, as reported upon by Mark Reynolds of the Projo, the concerned public servants of the North Providence Town Council approved a forensic audit of their town’s school system…
The Town Council wants to develop a formal proposal for a forensic audit of the school district’s finances.
Councilmen also want the School Department to provide access to three years of checks and other financial records.
In a 6-to-0 vote Tuesday night, the council ordered the preparation of bid specifications for a forensic audit.
At the time it may have seemed to be a minor detail, but on the same August 4 evening on which the Council approved the school system audit, they also took a vote
on extending it to the municipal side of government…
Councilman Manfredi requests discussion concerning meeting and forensic audit.
Councilman Manfredi spoke stating that after looking over things and speaking to Bob Civetti from Braver and Associates (the auditing firm for the town), he believes that the School Department problems are not criminal but mismanagement of funds instead. He does not believe that we need a forensic audit right now because the School Department was open to all changes and he believes that we should give them the opportunity to respond and correct the way the money is being managed. Douglas spoke stating that he did not believe that there was criminal activity going on, but instead mismanagement and the school department employees learning to use the new MUNIS system. There was much discussion amongst the council members regarding going out to bid for a forensic audit for the school department and a resident spoke.
…and in light of events that occurred this week
, the breakdown of the vote NOT to audit the municipal side of North Providence government can’t help but be eye-catching…
1) MOTION FAILED: (Caranci made a motion, seconded by Giusti we should include the municipal side in the audit. Upon a roll call vote of 3 ayes (Caranci, Giusti and Manfredi) and 3 nays (Zambarano, Douglas and Burchfield) THE MOTION FAILED.)
It is reasonable to ask if the votes on either side of this issue were driven more by a general sense that an audit of North Providence might turn up something unusual — or if there were concerns and suspicions about specific items that might be revealed.