Thursday, April 02, 2009

Cut the budget of that guy watching over my shoulder

This is worse than "penny-wise and pound-foolish." This is reverse feedback. If you cut funds for the state auditor for performance audits he will not root around and find systemic waste, which would save us far more than the cost of his audits. For example in 2007 a performance audit found $10 million per year in wasted spending by Washington State Ferries - again. But performance audits were forced on the powerful of the state by the voters by Initiative 900 (Tim Eyman!), so they are a top target for reducing or eliminating. And if they do it in the budget maybe no one will notice. The House budget (pdf) (page 6) takes about half the State Auditor's budget away. It is designated for a bunch of things, some of which appear to be audits.
Performance Audit Account Program Funding (-$13.5 million General Fund-State; $13.5 million Performance Audits of Government-State) Funding for JLARC, GMAP, WSIPP, K-12 budget driver audits and conservation district audits is provided from the Performance Audits of Government Account for the 2009-11 biennium rather than with General Fund-State.
Washington Policy Center also has State Auditor Brian Sontag's testimony on this proposed shot in the foot.

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