Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rep. Snitchler Reintroduces Legislation to Require Performance Audits of State Agencies

Measure aims to increase transparency, reduce waste in state government
(COLUMBUS) – State Representative Todd Snitchler (R-Uniontown) introduced legislation today that will require the Ohio Auditor of State to conduct performance audits of state agencies.  The goal of the legislation, House Bill 2, is to reduce government waste and increase transparency in state government. 
“Particularly in these tough economic times, it is vital that we ensure our tax dollars are used effectively and appropriately,” Rep. Snitchler said. “This should be a bipartisan issue: if a government agency is not achieving the goals that have been set for it or if audits show that an agency is providing an unnecessary or underutilized service, then we must reexamine the necessity for that agency in order to save valuable taxpayer resources.”
Under the legislation, the Auditor of State will conduct a performance audit of four state agencies selected by the Auditor, in consultation with the governor, that have been required to file performance data with the director of budget and management for at least one biennium.  These audits will allow the state to regularly evaluate the usefulness and practicality of certain state-funded agencies and their related programs.
Rep. Snitchler said the idea has been introduced in other states like Washington, where similar audits identified nearly $4 billion in potential savings.  “We have a budget deficit looming in this General Assembly that must be addressed immediately,” Snitchler said.  “House Bill 2 will put us on track toward getting spending under control and finding long-term savings for the future. There is great potential for this concept to save the state billions of dollars in what would have otherwise been wasteful spending. These savings will take time, so it is important that we start the process immediately.”
The bill has been assigned to the House State Government and Elections Committee, which will begin public hearings on the legislation in the near future.