St. Joseph County commissioners veto $50,000 to examine well being … – South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — St. Joseph County commissioners are from the County Council’s program to audit the billing practices of the county’s well being insurance broker.

The Board of Commissioners voted 2-one on Tuesday to veto the $50,000 approved by the County Council to execute the controversial program to audit R&R Added benefits of South Bend, the county’s insurance broker due to the fact 2013.

Opponents of the program have referred to as it a squander of taxpayer income and a way to sidestep the authority of the Board of Commissioners — the county’s government branch that is liable for approving contracts for audits.

The County Council could determine to override the veto at its assembly on June 13. That would no cost up the income for the audit to move ahead.

The council voted 6-three before this thirty day period to approve the program, with all three Republican customers voting from it: Jamie O’Brien, Mark Telloyan and Mark Root.

The program for the audit was hatched by County Auditor Mike Hamann, who has questioned the firm’s billing approaches and claimed he wants to ensure the county is “finding the most effective bang for the buck.”

Hamann observed a authorized way for the County Council — the legislative and fiscal authority — to get the lead: First use an legal professional. Then have the legal professional use county income to use a local enterprise to audit R&R.

South Bend legal professional James Masters would be employed for $125 for each hour to carry out the program by selecting a local organization to do the audit.

Republican Commissioner Andy Kostielney claimed through Tuesday’s assembly that shelling out income to examine R&R is unwise. The exertion arrives as the county is previously searching for a various well being insurance broker that could maybe aid reduce prices from the county’s self-funded insurance program.

“I really don’t fully grasp why you would want to audit an entity that you might no for a longer period be likely with,” Kostielney claimed. “I assume this is wasteful and silly shelling out of taxpayer dollars.”

Kostielney also believes the Board of Commissioners ought to be in cost of scheduling audits — not the County Council.

Commissioners’ legal professional Jamie Woods questioned why the county ought to spend up to $50,000 to audit R&R. He suggesting just inquiring the organization for facts as an alternative.

“If we have a concern about our professional expenses, why really don’t we question them about the expenses and get to the bottom of this as an alternative of dallying all around?” he claimed.

Commissioners agreed with that approach. And so did Bob Frick, chief functioning officer for R&R.

“Asking us for the facts would seem like a much far better way than shelling out $50,000,” Frick claimed.

But Hamann continue to believes the County Council ought to audit R&R alternatively than only inquiring the organization for facts. He claimed council customers have requested commissioners for facts about how much the organization is compensated, but they have not been given responses.

“I assume we ought to have a professional do a deep dive on this,” Hamann claimed.

Though Democratic Commissioner Dave Thomas voted from the veto, it wasn’t mainly because he is in favor of the audit, which he described as “wasteful shelling out of income.”

Thomas voted from it mainly because he does not think commissioners have the authority to exclude unique line things from ordinances to be voted on. In this circumstance, the $50,000 was excluded from an ordinance that bundled a number of other fiscal things.

But Woods claimed that in his opinion, commissioners have the authority to do so.