Shinn & Co. will have at least one more year to work as internal auditors for the Manatee County School Board if the board follows a recommendation laid out Tuesday by the volunteer Audit Committee.
Byron Shinn and his company were hired by the board three years ago after the district was slammed with 42 audit findings from the auditor general. Shinn & Co. works with the volunteer Audit Committee on various internal audit projects. The initial contract runs out this year, and committee members discussed whether they were happy with the company’s work or wanted to go in a different direction.
“I think the results of the work have been good,” Audit Committee Chairman Joe Blitzko said. “I think we should have a one-year deal.”
We’ve enjoyed our relationship and we think it’s come a long ways in three years.
Byron Shinn, internal auditor for the Manatee County School Board
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Four members of the Audit Committee unanimously voted to recommend the school board approve a one-year $200,000 contract for with the company. During that contract, the Audit Committee wants the company to continue working with the district on implementing a new business enterprise services function and prepare a detailed risk assessment to help the district figure out areas to focus on with audits.
“If we’ve done a good job of it you’ll have a great product to move forward with,” said Angie Oxley, an auditor with Shinn. “It’s really a planning and overview tool.”
Audit Committee members agreed having the risk assessment is a valuable function.
The one-year contract with Shinn could be extended, but Audit Committee members and some district staff members want to explore having qualified internal auditors work for the district instead of contracting the service out.
“That gives me pause,” said Chief Financial Officer Rebecca Roberts. “It’s just an expensive endeavor to contract out those services.”
Committee members generally agreed.
“I do believe at some point in time the plan needs to be bringing this in-house,” Rick Kimsey said.
Board Chairwoman Karen Carpenter said internal auditors were part of the district’s financial problems three years ago. She said it is important for internal auditors to report directly to the board and not to the administration.
Blitzko recommended the one-year contract and during the one-year period, the Audit Committee can begin to explore moving toward having internal auditors again.