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Rep. Staneski Op-Ed: Carefully watching your money

Posted on June 21, 2018 by jdooley


Many people are not aware that Connecticut has an independent state office that is tasked with going through every state department and agency making sure there is no undo government waste, abuse of state spending, or unfair working and hiring practices.

The office of the Auditors of Public Accounts primary mission is to conduct audits of all state agencies. However, there has never been any formal follow through on these audit reports from the General Assembly. Last year, Republicans pushed through a provision, which permits for the oversight committees of cognizance to conduct a review of the auditors’ reports within 180 days after they have been submitted.

I supported this provision as members of the General Assembly would continually receive auditors’ reports, some with major violations and waste of state resources, and the leadership of the legislature would just turn a blind eye to the auditors’ findings and recommendations—many that have been repeated by various agencies multiple times and never properly addressed.

As the Ranking Republican on Higher Education, late last week, I sent a joint letter, along with my Republican colleague, Senator Art Linares, to our counterparts of the Higher Education committee asking for our committee to conduct legislative hearings in order to resolve the ongoing findings and possible state waste issues cited by the state auditors regarding the Connecticut State University – Systems Office, the Community Colleges, the Charter Oak Foundation, and the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC).

For instance, UConn Health Center gave raises to employees who approved a contract for a the interim head of the center, rehired retirees who worked longer than they should have according to executive fiats, and paid some employees more than they should have, according to their contracts.

We should not have important findings by the Auditors of Public Accounts collect dust on a shelf somewhere. That practice does nothing but allow further fiscal malfeasance to continue unabated to the detriment of the taxpayers of Connecticut.

As always please feel free to contact me on this or any matter that is of importance to you.