Audit of the Operations of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed an audit of the operations of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners (CBOEC), pursuant to the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County’s designation of our office as an independent external auditor of CBOEC.

OIG sought to determine whether CBOEC employed sufficient financial controls to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse; whether its human resources program was designed to support its mission; and whether it maintained a contingency plan to ensure continuity of operations in the event of attack or disaster.

Based on the audit results, OIG concluded that CBOEC has spent taxpayer money on unnecessary expenses, and has both overcharged its funders and caused them to record financial transactions incorrectly. Some of CBOEC’s employees are not receiving benefits to which they may be entitled. CBOEC does not budget accurately for personnel, and its hiring, compensation, and succession planning activities do not align with best practices. Lastly, CBOEC cannot assure the public that it would be able to maintain election operations in the event of an attack or disaster. Although CBOEC was informed of several of these problems in May 2009, CBOEC did not follow through on many of the corrective actions it committed to undertake.

OIG’s audit makes recommendations aimed at improving CBOEC’s fiscal administration, bringing its hiring, compensation, and employee succession programs into alignment with best practices, and establishing plans to ensure the safety and reliability of elections in the event of catastrophe.

In response to this audit, CBOEC stated that it tentatively agrees with some recommendations, disagrees with others, and is still determining its response to others.