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updated: 8/15/2012 11:30 AM

DuPage forest preserve wants consultant for in-depth finance review

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DuPage County forest preserve officials plan to spend roughly $35,000 to hire a consulting firm to conduct an in-depth review of the district's finances.

"Our motivation is not that we suspect there are any unfortunate issues going on," Finance Director Jack Hogan said. "Our motivation is we think it's really good management on our part to be prudent.

"As we all know, if we kind of rest on our laurels and get a false sense of security ... it's in our best interest to not do that and be proactive."

It has been many years since anyone has reviewed the district's financial processes, Hogan told forest preserve commissioners on Tuesday. He said staff members want to hire Glenview-based GAP Resources to provide an independent critique of all areas that process cash receipts (such as golf courses) and sites that host camps or sell permits, rent rooms, or collect donations. Such areas produce about $5 million in annual nontax revenue, Hogan said.

GAP Resources also would examine the use of district credit cards.

Staff members considered three firms, Hogan said, and GAP offered the best price, experience and references. He also said he had good experience working with the company while at a previous job.

Commissioner Mike Formento said the review is a good idea, but asked that staff include a list of references when it brings a potential contract with GAP Resources before the commission.

"I think it's timely that we're doing this (because) it's time to tighten up our procedures and policies," Formento said. "You want a fresh set of eyes to look at what we're doing. You really want to have someone who has an arm's length relationship to do the review."

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