ELMIRA | Chemung County officials recently announced that County Executive Chris Moss has issued an executive order to create an audit committee for county finances.

The creation of the committee comes in response to an independent audit of the county’s 2018 finances that recommended a standing committee to oversee the proper handling of taxpayer funds.

One of the key functions of the committee, according to a press release from Moss’s office, is “to provide a forum separate from management in which auditors and other interested parties can candidly discuss concerns.”

The release also states that according to the 2018 audit report, “Chemung County is utilizing sound fiscal practices at this time.” The independent auditor’s report did note that they did not examine the finances of two major county operations: the county Nursing Facility and the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency.

The audit committee is slated to consist of a chairperson appointed by the County Treasurer, a member appointed by the chair of the Legislature and a member appointed by Moss.

To meet the requirements of being an independent auditor, the order states that a member of the committee must have “no financial relationship with the county”; not be employed by the county or immediately related to a county employee; not have been paid by the county for services including consulting within the past three years.

The appointments are for one-year terms. Members can be removed by the County Treasurer if she believes it is necessary.

The order also states that audit committee members have to possess the skills and knowledge necessary to analyze the complexities of county finances.

The committee members would not be paid.