We reported that the auditor for the Great Park Foresnic Audit, HSNO of Costa Mesa, has failed to provided timely reports on the status of their promised four-month contract and received an extension of nearly two-and-a-half months because they didn’t contract the Park’s two largest contractors until a week before the report was due. TheLiberalOC has learned that the auditor still hasn’t submitted questions in writing that they promised to the public relations firm of Forde & Mollrich a month ago.
Council member Christina Shea “suggested” that perhaps the contractors were hiding something by not cooperating with the auditor. She also suggested that up to a year might be required for the audit to be completed. Since F&M and other contractors have already gone through two comprehensive compliance audits, what is clear that the only city contractor not in compliance is the auditor themselves.
HSNO pitched a program and an audit that would be done in four months; Irvine city staff suggested it would take about six months. Shea and her sub-committee partner on this audit, Mayor Steven Choi (just back from a jaunt to South Korea) ought to be asking the auditors why they need more time and why, after a month of promising to submit questions in writing to a contractor that is going to need to dig through records to adequately answer questions, the written questions haven’t been delivered?
Irvine taxpayers are shelling out nearly a quarter of a million dollars for what really amounts to a political with hunt. The delays are designed to provide some measure of campaign mailer fodder to bolster the re-election efforts of one of Irvine’s most ineffective mayors. This is believed to be the first significant audit of a city project managed directly by city council members instead of city hall staff — and the council members managing it have a political axe to grind against some of the contractors.
HSNO has been on the job since June 16. To have any credibility on how this audit is being conducted, Shea and Choi need to find out why the auditor still hasn’t submitted questions they need to finish this job in writing.