Mecklenburg County will have a new director of Internal Audit beginning next month. Joanne Prakapas has been hired by County Manager Harry L. Jones, Sr. for the position. She will begin work on April 7. She comes to Charlotte from Phoenix, Arizona, where she was chief internal auditor of the Arizona Department of Revenue. She previously served as senior internal auditor for the Automotive Club of Michigan in Dearborn, and auditor/analyst for the Arizona Office of the Auditor General, in Phoenix. Prakapas holds a Master of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Eastern Michigan University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and is also Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). Prakapas will be responsible for planning, organizing, directing and controlling the internal audit and appraisal function for Mecklenburg County. The Internal Audit Department performs operational, financial-related and information systems audits designed to furnish the Board of County Commissioners and management with independent assessments of departmental operations and recommendations that strengthen the County’s risk management and fiscal control processes. Mecklenburg County’s Internal Audit department has a staff of five and budget of more than $500,000. Although Jones is projecting significant cuts elsewhere in the organization next fiscal year, he is recommending that Internal Audit department’s staffing be increased by three positions. Prakapas will be responsible for establishing and implementing this new staffing plan. Her experience includes creating a new audit division in the Arizona Office of the Auditor General and a new internal audit unit for the Arizona Department of Revenue. “Ms. Prakapas has exceptional knowledge and experience to lead our internal audit function and enhance its capacity and capabilities,” said Jones.