Sand Calls Bill Affecting His Office Dangerous And Irresponsible

Des Moines, Iowa — The head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office for 15 years and 27 auditing officials from other states are raising concerns about a Senate bill that would limit the Iowa State Auditor’s ability to investigate state agencies.

The Republican who led the debate on the bill Tuesday night said it would keep information private that’s not relevant to an audit. The president of the National State Auditors Association says limitations in the bill should be eliminated to protect the auditor’s ability to investigate waste, fraud, and abuse. State Auditor Rob Sand says the bill guts the ability of the professionals in his office to conduct audits.

The bill creates a process that lets state agencies refuse to give the state auditor’s office documents and it would forbid the state auditor’s office from going to court to get access to that information.

David Walker is the former Comptroller General of the United States for Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes. Walker says the bill undercuts the independence of the Iowa State Auditor’s Office and parts of the bill are inconsistent with Generally Accepted Government Accounting Standards. Sand says he hopes legislators heed these concerns.

Sand is the only Democrat currently serving in statewide elected office. Senator Mike Bousselot of Ankeny, the Republican working on the bill, says after consulting with the State Treasurer, the governor’s budget office, and private sector accounting firms he is confident the bill complies with accounting standards and gives the auditor authority to do his job.

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