Summer 2022 Fellow: William McClain ’25

Office Description

San José is the tenth largest city in the United States and the third largest in California. The City of San José provides a broad range of services to a diverse population. The mission of the Office of the City Auditor is to independently assess and report on San José’s city government operations and services. To fulfill this mission, we conduct performance audits that identify ways to ways to strengthen public accountability; improve the efficiency and effectiveness of City government; and provide independent, reliable, accurate, and timely information to the City Council, the general public, and other stakeholders. Audits cover the full spectrum of City activities, including but not limited to police and fire operations, libraries, parks, housing and urban development, retirement administration, performance management, financial management, and utility services. Performance audits vary in both size and scope and may include: determining whether a City department or program is operating in the most economical and efficient manner possible; assessing whether the program is meeting its stated goals and objectives; and testing for compliance with laws and regulations.

Potential Projects

The fellow will gain exposure to the breadth of local government work while helping the City Auditor achieve its critically important mission. After being assigned to a project, the fellow will work with auditors and assist them by conducting specific audit tests and providing support for complex audit procedures. During our audits, we generally:

  • Analyze complex operations, financial and organizational issues; evaluate alternatives and reach sound, logical, fact-based conclusions and recommendations.
  • Collect, evaluate and interpret myriad data, either in statistical or narrative form.
  • Assess risk and evaluate internal controls designed to mitigate those risks.
  • Research, understand, interpret and apply federal, state and local laws, regulations and court decisions

The fellow will contribute to our office’s audit recommendations on how the City can improve its operations, save money, and deliver better services to the residents of San José. For example, previous SIG fellows reviewed the City’s pension plan spending on travel costs and stakeholder education, assessed library hours and programs, evaluated the experience of home-owners obtaining building permits, and analyzed the City’s use and coordination of volunteers. The City Auditor’s Office expects to have a hybrid in-person/remote work environment in 2022 if health orders allow.

Desired Skills

  • Demonstrated ability to work well in a team environment; professionalism and maturity for formal and informal situations
  • Clear, concise, and convincing writing; ability to summarize complex ideas and data, and prepare presentations including appropriate graphic displays
  • Ability to interview City staff and industry experts to gather information
  • Comfort working in a variety of settings and with new and often complex government operations
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Previous work experience in a professional/office environment
  • Preference for rising juniors and for those with a career interest in government service

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