Lawmakers move to monitor State Board of Accounts

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The state’s independent auditing agency will soon receive more legislative oversight.

A subcommittee of the Indiana Legislative Council met this week to determine the goals and best practices of a new Audit Committee, which is meant to operate as a type of peer-review system for the State Board of Accounts.

The Audit and Financial Reporting subcommittee – including members from both chambers of the legislature and one non-voting advisory member– heard testimony from representatives of various auditing organizations about the current operations and needs of the Board of Accounts.

The new committee is a result of recent legislation intended to increase supervision of the state’s auditing agency, which reviews the finances of state agencies, local governments and schools. The Audit Committee does not yet have members and is still in the beginning stages of development.

Legislative Services Agency Executive Director George Angelone spoke to the subcommittee about the guidelines and duties of the audit committee, which were outlined in the legislation that created it. Angelone said audit committees are now the “growing trend for state government.”

The legislation gives the Audit Committee the authority to hire a financial advisor to assist in certain evaluations of the Board of Accounts, but does not give them the responsibility to conduct audits.

The subcommittee also heard discussion from Board of Accounts members, who spoke of the agency’s current activity and areas where improvement might be possible.

Paul Joyce, the state examiner and Board of Accounts board member, said the independence of an auditing organization is of “key importance” and his organization has always operated as such.

Joyce also told subcommittee members that his organization is currently lacking the resources and staff to complete audits of every agency that requests one from his office.

The Board of Accounts completed 1,586 audits and reviews of information on state agencies, school systems, and local governments in 2013.

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