1995-1996 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

April 16, 1996
Contact: Spencer Boise, Foreman
Phone (805) 568-2292


The 1995-96 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury reported today its satisfaction with the past fiscal yearís performance by the independent accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick LLP.

California law requires the county Board of Supervisors to employ an outside firm to audit the countyís accounts and records annually. The independent auditor is selected by the auditor-controllerís office, the Grand Jury, and the county administrator. The Grand Jury is charged with monitoring the auditorís work on behalf of the countyís citizens, and to investigate and report on the countyís operations and records.

The Grand Jury inspected the independent auditorís reports and services for the year, and found them to be in conformance with the contract specifications for the work. Because of the satisfactory performance, the county has exercised its option to renew the auditorís contract for the current fiscal year.

The Grand Jury also reported that Peat Marwick provided a Management Letter to the county after completing last yearís audit, with observations regarding:

The Grand Jury expressed concern over the continued growth of a $13,436,000 county liability for employee compensated absences, which the county is addressing but has not yet resolved.

The Grand Jury also expressed the need for improved controls in the use of county credit cards by county employees.

Separately, the Grand Jury noted that the auditor-controllerís office responded positively to a recommendation from last yearís Grand Jury to conduct quarterly compliance audits of the countyís investment policy.

The full report is posted on the Grand Juryís World Wide Web page. Copies of the report are also available at the Superior Court Jury Services office at 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, or call 568-3139.