Our current State Auditor claims to be a “taxpayer’s watchdog”, but it is clear that she simply isn’t doing the job. An example: the 2013 audit of the Department of Administrative Services – the state agency that has been at the center of the recent scandals – was only three pages long. Yes, a three page audit of an agency with a budget of nearly $100 million and some of the most important responsibilities in state government. Unsurprisingly, this three page long audit entirely missed the secret “hush money” and other scandals it should have found and addressed. Our taxpayer money is wasted because the State Auditor doesn’t do her job.
Here are a few of the specific things I will do differently:
- Do Thorough Audits – The current State Auditor looks at only a small sample of financial transactions and only talks to top officials. Many problems are missed. As your State Auditor, I will conduct thorough audits with insightful digging, and will talk not only to management but also with a staff and former employees in order to ferret out problems and issues for further investigation.
- Do Complete Audits – Iowa law requires that every audit address not just finances but also assess a government entity’s efficiency, effectiveness, and whether it operates in a business-like manner, yet the current State Auditor rarely does this. As your State Auditor, I will ask tough questions about spending and efficiency, and will require every unit of Iowa government to develop and report on real measures of program effectiveness.
- Fight for Transparent Government – As your State Auditor every audit will assess the audited entity’s compliance with Open Records and Open Meetings law. In addition, the State Auditor’s audit findings and recommendations for improvement will be easily found on the Internet, along with periodic updates allowing citizens to see how quickly recommendations are being implemented.
- Listen to Iowans – As your State Auditor I will continue visiting with Iowans across the state, seeking information on what is working well and what is not working so well in Iowa government. I strongly believe that taxpayers have a good sense of which programs and services are being run efficiently and effectively, and which are not. A good State Auditor needs to listen to this wisdom and integrate it into their decisions concerning where to put resources, and I will do so.