Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bill Allows Audits of State Appropriations to a Non-Profit

OKLAHOMA CITY – Last year, many lawmakers were not pleased when they discovered that appropriations they had approved for a state agency eventually were given to a non-profit organization.

House Bill 1323, by state Reps. Sally Kern and David Brumbaugh, would authorize the state auditor to audit any state-appropriated dollars passed through an agency to a non-profit.

The legislation was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives General Government Committee by a vote of 7-2.

“This legislation gives the auditor the discretion to do an audit; it does not mandate one,” said Kern, R-Oklahoma City. “This bill will ensure that there is transparency on all taxpayer money. I requested help from the auditor’s office to help write the bill. The idea for the bill arose by the public over the $2 million that was given to the Youth Expo last year that many legislators knew nothing about until after the fact. I’m not questioning the rightness or wrongness of a ‘pass through.’ I just want legislators and the public to be aware of them. They merit scrutiny.”

“Contracts entered into with our state should contain audit clauses. The public has the right of full disclosure of where their funds go. Good legislation is all about transparency and this is good legislation,” said Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow.

If approved by the House Calendar Committee, the legislation will be available for a hearing on the House floor.

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