County selects newest Audit Committee member

Mark B. San Souci, a Lakewood resident and Department of Defense contract employee, has been appointed to a two-year term on the Pierce County Performance Audit Committee. He fills one of the two at-large positions on the seven-member committee.

San Souci, who retired from the Air Force in March 2005 with the rank of lieutenant colonel, fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Gerald Schmitz, who had served since Pierce County started performance audits in 1997. “We had a number of impressive and qualified candidates, but Mr. San Souci stood out. He has a history of military management and budget experience, and he is knowledgable and enthusiastic about performance audits,” said Matt Temmel, the county’s performance audit coordinator. “He clearly understands the role of an at-large member in representing the public.”

In his Department of Defense position as Navy/Marine Corps regional quality of life liaison, San Souci works for the betterment of military members and their families. His Air Force career included a two-year period working with retired Air Force officer and current County Councilmember Dick Muri on a quality management program at McChord Air Force Base evaluated as best in the command. San Souci said of government performance audits: “I can see that the role is to provide valuable information and help the elected officials make decisions.

Audits can help in the process but not cure all the problems in government. But any cost effective process that improves the efficiency of government can only be a positive step.”

The committee meets monthly and in addition to the two at-large members includes three council members, the county executive or designee and the budget and finance director. The committee decides what should be audited, plans specific audits, acquires audit contractors through an RFP process, hears audit reports, and makes recommendations for action to the County Council.

Performance audits have been mandated in Pierce County since 1996 when the voters amended the county charter.