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Sunday, April 11, 2010

State Auditor candidate Dave Yost proposes taking away Independence of State Auditors Office

The Ohio Republican Party hand-picked & endorsed candidate for State Auditor, Dave "I was for being Attorney General before I was against it" Yost, in an over reaching attmept to politicize an office that MUST maintain its' independence is proposing a State Budget Commission to be made up of the State Treasurer, the State Auditor & State Attorney General.....
Republican State Auditor candidate Dave Yost today proposed creation of a State Budget Commission of the Auditor, Treasurer and Attorney General to improve state fiscal planning and increase accountability.

“Ohio counties have been well-served by county budget commissions made up of the county auditor, treasurer and prosecuting attorney, which designate a revenue total and then make regular updates,” Yost continued.

“A budget commission works for counties, it can work for the State, too,” Yost concluded. “By making these important calculations the responsibility of specific statewide elected officials, voters will know exactly where to look when the numbers are wrong or slow in coming.”
(Dave Yost for Auditor)

With this proposed partisan move and as reflected in the above statement, Yost clearly affirms a lack of knowledge on the vastly different roles of a County Auditor and a State Auditor.

His opponent in the State Auditors race, Seth Morgan, counters Yost's proposal with this statement....
“This is a great example of the difference between having a CPA as Auditor of State and someone who served as auditor of county. A CPA like the Ohio Auditor both work to ensure independence and objectivity whenever issuing audit reports. A county auditor has no responsibility to issue such reports,” said Seth Morgan, CPA.

“To have the Auditor of State who is tasked with issuing an objective and independent financial audit report being involved with placing their credibility on the estimates of the revenue itself creates the appearance of a lack of independence in issuing that financial audit report. How does the Auditor of State first tell the citizens of Ohio what the revenues will be and then issue a report on the revenues themselves without being tainted by the fact that their credibility is already on the line?” said Morgan.

Additionally, the Governor’s role and the legislature’s role are to debate and enact the state budget. Seth Morgan has expressed major concerns in the past about the reliability of having the Governor issue the revenue estimates through his Office of Budget Management (OBM).
(Friends of Seth Morgan Campaign)

Putting aside the comments from the candidates, Mary Taylor (current State Auditor and candidate for Lt. Governor), who has taken the State Auditors office to level of fiscal competency not seen in years, has some concerns about Yost's attempt at politicizing the office....
State Auditor Mary Taylor says an Ohio Budget Commission proposal unveiled this week by auditor candidate Dave Yost could create a conflict-of-interest problem for the office.

“We would be concerned that their might be an independence issue if the legislature were to approve legislation…that required the auditor of state to participate in any budgeting process, and then after the fact would be required to go in and audit,” Taylor said Friday during a taping of ONN’s Capitol Square, which will air Sunday at 10 a.m., noon, and 7 p.m.
(Columbus Dispatch)

For more insightful comments on Yost's proposed Budget Commission here are a couple other posts made by two of the more competent and accurate bloggers in OH at Right Ohio (click here) and Bizzy Blog (click here).

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