State auditor given more leeway

SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown signed a piece of legislation Tuesday that strengthens the state auditor's ability to investigate local governments at risk for waste, fraud and abuse.The legislation, formally called AB 187, provides the state auditor "with the capacity to examine high risk situations before they become explosive and taxpayers are left holding the bag," said Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, author of the bill. "AB 187 brings us one step closer to preventing abuse by local officials and will help restore the public's trust in those who hold public office." The state auditor is responsible for providing nonpartisan financial and performance audits of state government to ensure the efficient management of public funds. Existing law authorizes the auditor to establish a high-risk government agency audit program. Every two years, the auditor produces a "high-risk" report which identifies agencies and programs that may be at risk for abuse. AB 187 does not require the auditor to include a review of local governments in the high-risk reports, but does give authority in the case that an issue arises that warrants review. The legislation comes as a result of scandal in the city of Bell.

********** Published: October 06, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 25