Thursday, October 15, 2009
When the full board of the Allegheny Regional Asset District meets Wednesday it will be presented with a request for proposal to contract with an outside firm to audit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The recommendation was made today by the RAD board Audit Committee. The action comes a week and two days after the library system announced plans to close five of its 19 branches and cut hours at the remaining facilities. That same day Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl called for an audit of the library. RAD Executive Director David Donahoe says the board’s action is not based on the Mayor’s request. He says several board members came to him to ask for the audit. Donahoe says the scope of the audit is still being determined so it is impossible to say what the audit will cost and how long it will take. The scope is expected to be set before the recommendation is presented to the full board. Donahoe notes that the Regional Asset District audits at least four fund recipients a year but he says this will be a much different audit. He says those audits are used to make sure the RAD money is being spent as was proposed but this audit will be much broader and more forward looking. Donahoe says, “This is not just a budget question, other issues are involved.” The RAD Board has already asked the library system to submit a new budget now that the level of funding from the state has been set. Donahoe says the board does not feel like it has been mislead by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh because the library did not have a full understanding of its funding streams until the state set its budget. RAD allocated $17.6 million to the library this year as part of the library’s $23 million budget.