Legislation Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Jamel Holley, Paul Moriarty and Annette Quijano sponsored to help improve government efficiency by requiring the reporting of audit follow-ups is headed to the Governor after receiving final legislative approval from the Senate on Thursday.
The Assembly unanimously approved the bill in October.
“The governor and the Legislature determine how much of the taxpayers’ money goes toward certain government agencies,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Mosquera). “The people of New Jersey deserve to know that these agencies are making the best use of their hard-earned money. It’s important that the executive and legislature branches are apprised of all the comptroller’s reviews and thus able to keep state entities accountable.”
The bill (A-1185) would require the Office of the State Comptroller, which is responsible for auditing government finances and examining the efficiency of government programs, to report the findings of audit follow-ups within three years of the initial audit.
State law requires the Office of the State Comptroller to conduct random audits of the executive branch, including all entities exercising executive branch authority, public institutions of higher education, independent state authorities, units of local government and boards of education.
The comptroller reports the findings of the audits and reviews to the governor, the Senate president and the Assembly speaker as well as the entity itself, and issues recommendations for corrective or remedial action. The comptroller also monitors the implementation of those recommendations and conducts a subsequent review to determine whether there has been full implementation and continued compliance with those recommendations, but is not required to report the subsequent review findings to the governor and the legislature.
This bill would require the comptroller to report the findings of a subsequent review to the governor, the Senate president and the Assembly speaker within three years of the initial audit.
“New Jersey can maximize the efficiency of state agencies only if the individuals in a position to shape policies governing those agencies have the information they need to make good decisions,” said Holley (D-Union). “In the same way that legislative leaders receive reports on initial audits, they also should receive reports on subsequent reviews.”
“The state needs the executive and legislative branches to work together in order for government to run smoothly,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “If both the governor and the legislature receive regular updates on the financial behaviors of state entities, they will be better able to take action on behalf of the taxpayers when necessary.”
“The legislature and the governor have the power to make and enforce the laws that set standards for state agencies,” said Quijano (D-Union). “In order to foster an environment in which taxpayer dollars are used most efficiently, both branches must have up-to-date information regarding the performance of these agencies.”