In a press release, the chairman of the city’s audit office, thomas nagel , writes the following (we quote verbatim):
"In its report on the annual financial statements for 2016 – 2018, the audit office found that the city of kulmbach was able to perform the tasks set for it in the municipal code in the years 2016 to 2018 in broad and general terms. The report concludes: "in our opinion, the city council should be asked to approve the annual financial statements for 2018 to 2018 in accordance with section 102, paragraph 1. 3 GO are recommended. At the same time the discharge can be given.’
The recommendations of the audit office were unanimously adopted by the audit committee after lengthy and comprehensive deliberations. All members of the committee voted. In addition, the audit office noted that new audit findings were ‘not collected’ during the reporting period for various reasons.
The members of the audit committee have dealt intensively with the report in two meetings. It was only at the request of the audit committee that the then head of the audit office drew up the facts in writing, which the committee members dealt with in detail. Ambiguities could be cleared up. Only when there were no more open questions was the vote taken.
It is important to note: the annual financial statements 2016 – 2018 are not objectionable from a budgetary point of view. All items are part of the economic plan approved by the city council and have been correctly accounted for. There were no budget overruns.
From the internal meeting of the audit committee, individual items have now been questioned out of context, such as the ordering of towels, etc., which are not included in the budget. These are expenses paid by the mayor from the public relations budget allocated by the city council.
Furthermore, these were mainly gifts for guests and birthdays, which were given out in the name of the city of kulmbach, including to representatives of the partner cities and local associations. Thus, on the occasion of the last sportsmen’s gala, 40 thermal vouchers were given to the invited sports clubs. These are expenses paid by the oberburgermeister out of his injury fund. All members of the city council can certainly remember dates when such gifts were presented. This can be proven many times, also in the media.
Legal supervision and the public prosecutor’s office have examined these facts, and no evidence of misconduct has emerged. Open questions answered, uncertainties cleared up. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in this assessment to date. The respective mayors have always been allocated a budget for representative tasks within the framework of the budget statutes.
Mayor a.D. Henry schramm pointed out that he had not acted differently from what was explained to him by mrs. Aures’ former advisor and referred to the procedure of his predecessor. The legality of this has also been confirmed several times by senior officials.
For 13 years, from my knowledge of the city council, there has not been a negative review of mayor a.D. Henry schramm and probably also no written indication of possible misconduct on the part of the administration on the part of the audit office. In this respect, our recommendation to keep lists in the future is not only directed at the oberburgermeister, but also and above all at the administration.
At the meeting of the council of elders, the parliamentary groups were already informed by the city lawyer about the following facts, which I am happy to quote and reproduce: ‘there are no grounds for refusing to grant discharge on the basis of the principles set out above, since, if there were any, they were ‘minor inadequacies which, as individual transactions, do not constitute serious irregularities and are not significant in the context of the overall budgetary management’.’
I am disappointed that information from closed meetings seems to have been leaked to the public once again; i am even more disappointed that the public was given very abbreviated information, which ultimately leads to a completely distorted presentation and perception. I am astonished by this action, which in my view is neither necessary nor beneficial and, in my opinion, not in keeping with the law.
It seems that the ultimate goal here is to damage the company’s reputation. That is not how I see my task as chairman of the audit committee.
As a long-serving city councilor, I say: henry schramm has given everything to this city for over 13 years – he has made our city a top center and a university city. In addition, I value henry schramm as a man of balance across party lines, also in the district parliament.
Against this background, i appeal to the entire city council to concentrate on the business at hand – there are rough tasks ahead of us. Our goal must be to look ahead and shape the future together."
According to the bavarian municipal code, the task of the city council’s audit committee is, among other things, to audit the city’s annual financial statements. In addition to thomas nagel as chairman, the council members wolfram brehm (CSU), hans werther (SPD) and alexander meile (WGK) belong to the committee in the current term of office.