The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports H.B. 2908. By requiring the Auditor to submit an annual report to the Legislature that identifies all audit recommendations over one year old that have not been implemented, you gain critical awareness. Requiring the affected agencies that were so notified by the Auditor to submit a written report to explain why a recommendation was not implemented, to provide an estimated date of implementation, and to provide updates on their progress, appropriately reinforces their responsibility and accountability.
It is too bad that a “stick” approach is apparently needed. However, it is reasonable to assume that such audits are conducted because of indications of problems in key areas, and if no action has been taken on resulting recommendations in over a year, it is very likely that such problems not only continue but have been exacerbated. If conditions that lead to waste or possible fraud and abuse are not being corrected, it is foolish and frankly wrong to wait for major problems and blowback before taking action. Agencies dismissing audit recommendations and not being held accountable raises doubt about the soundness of management practices and the fulfillment of government responsibility. This bill demonstrates appropriate serious attention to audit actions.
For reference, in California, reports summarize major findings and recommendations from audit and investigative reports that relate to agencies and departments under the purview of various budget subcommittees. They are submitted to the subcommittees before budget hearings. That “stick” approach certainly indicates the seriousness California gives to audit actions.
We urge passage of H.B. 2908. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.