Promises kept: I pledged more transparency and more accountability. Today, the State Auditor’s website has more details about the budget, the contract with KPMG, as well as an improved strategic plan and performance report.

[About the State Auditor]

Whistleblower protection: Fear of retaliation has prevented many state employees from reporting waste, fraud, and abuse in state government. In order to encourage whistleblowers to come forward, I decided to create a safe place for them and persuaded the legislature to support a new law protecting their identities.

I was pleased to work with our Legislature to make this a reality. Find the bill here.

Savings: Making better use of taxpayer money is the focus of my office’s work:

• Our cell phone audit found that the state could save at least $300,000 per year by adopting better policies and procedures about which employees actually need cell phones (many do not) and which cell phone plans are best suited to their business needs. The audit has led the administration to seek additional savings from land line use as well.

Read our report here.

• Our report on the Agency of Transportation’s liquidated damages policies found that the methodology used to calculate liquidated damages did not actually cover the costs incurred when road and bridge projects were completed late as a result of problems with contractor performance. This cost the state $165,000 in one two-year period.

Read our report here.

• We are working with the administration and KPMG to reduce the number of repeat findings and re-audits in the Federal Single Audit, which costs the state over $400,000 per year.

Public policy: We just issued a report calling for greater access to information about the cost of medical services. The legislature called for this years ago but to date the state has not made it a priority. The data exists but needs to be made available to consumers.

Read our report here.

Work in Progress: We are currently engaged in the following performance audits:

• “Designated Agencies” – Objectives: 1) summarize how the Dept. of Aging & Independent Living and the Dept. of Mental Health fund developmental disability and mental health services provided by the DA’s and ensure that clients receive the expected services; and 2) determine whether DA’s have received duplicate payments from Medicaid for services provided.

• State Agency Energy Plans – Objectives: 1) to determine whether and how the state has assurance that the state agency energy plan is being implemented; and 2) to determine whether state agencies that are the largest consumers of energy met the Act 40 (2011) goal to reduce energy consumption by 5% in 2012 and 2013.

• Dept. of Liquor Control – Objectives: 1) review the State’s current liquor distribution and sales system and assess whether profitability of the current system could be improved; and 2) assess the short-term and long-term fiscal impacts of changing the state’s liquor delivery system.

See our calendar of upcoming work here.

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