Let’s chalk this one up under a category called, “Oh, everything is just fine thank you and we can do this on our own even though we admit we fracked up by not noticing that our court was millions of dollars short but hey that’s okay because we caught the problem and we’re pretty sure we can determine what caused the discrepancy and who needs an independent audit anyhow when we’ve laid some people off which means we should be okay until January when we think we might have to lay some more people off and please don’t criticize us for spending billions on software instead of keeping courts open because that’s just how we roll here at the A to the O to the C. Holler!!!”
An October 2nd article in the San Mateo Daily Journal reports that the AOC and the San Mateo Superior Court (SMSC) have denied the request of unions representing court employees that an independent auditor be appointed to investigate how the frack SMSC found themselves almost $4 million dollars short in last year’s budget. Or as I like to call it, the San Mateo Superior Court Financial Illusionmastastical!! Now you see the millions…and now you don’t.
And not only did the AOC and SMSC deny the request for an independent audit, the court also informed the unions that they would only meet with the union’s consultant on the matter for “a few hours.”
John Judnick, the manager of the Internal Audit Services of the Administrative Office of the Courts, is happy to meet with proposed consultant Harvey M. Rose for a few hours but the cost of the meeting must be borne by Service Employees International Union Local 521 and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 829, according to a Sept. 28 letter to them from Court Human Resources Manager Fran Doubleday.
In addition to the AOC graciously giving a “few hours” to the union consultant to discuss the matter and offering a meeting between Harvey Rose for the unions and John Judnick for the AOC, the courts also offered to turn over four quarters for the past three fiscal years for review. Khanh Weinberg of SEIU is not impressed with any of the AOC and SMSC’s alternative solutions.
But such a meeting is “not remotely the same as having an independent audit,” said SEIU Local 521 spokeswoman Khanh Weinberg.
SEIU Local 521 represents approximately 250 of the court’s previous 392 positions.
An audit by the same group that missed the $4 million error initially is also a bad idea, she said.
“How can workers and the community have any confidence this pending audit will be any more accurate?” Weinberg asked.
Good question Weinberg. But I believe the answer to your question is short of a thorough audit by an independent party workers and the community WON’T have any confidence in this pending audit. Then again, maybe this is just the AOC’s idea of “serving the courts for the benefit of all Californians.”