Victoria county forensic audit underway

VICTORIA, Texas- Victoria County Commissioners have now approved the starting phase of a forensic audit that was approved earlier this year.

The idea of this forensic audit has been a top priority for county judge Ben Zeller. Monday morning he presented the finalized blueprint of this plan.

In December 2019 Commissioner Kevin Janak submitted a review report that encompassed all insurance reimbursements and invoices after hurricane Harvey. The restoration company used, Virtus, is still working to provide further documentation.  Meanwhile, the county now approved a list of qualifications for a third party auditor to begin a review. This review is to complete a forensic audit to prove no wrongdoing in the expenditure of nearly 3 million dollars. 

“[They’ll] look at our processes at the time of Harvey, ensure that they were followed, through a lot of additional steps to sufficiently verify what we’re trying to verify,” explains Zeller.

The first phase outlines the scope of work the future third party auditor must complete. The forensic audit will focus on these five things:

  1. Answer if the county committed fraud or theft
  2. Were county processes followed for payable accounts?
  3. Did Victoria county follow all local, state and federal law or regulations?
  4. Did officials and employees act accordingly in relation to spending insurance funds?
  5. Has the money already spent, been adequately verified?

The negotiations to hire a firm will begin after a March 27 deadline, commissioners do expect a six figure price tag for the forensic audit.

“Its gonna run into six figures, some sort of six figures, but that’s later, [let’s] get into this and get that price and make a decision on that price,” adds Commissioner Kevin Janak. 

The audit is expected to be no longer than 90 days. All findings will be made public.