Frequently in election campaigns, candidates will deplore the waste and fraud in government and pledge to fight to eliminate them, or declare the money saved from their elimination as a source of revenues to fund new initiatives.
We have been reading newspaper articles on the waste and fraud in various federal agencies and how the inspector generals responsible for unearthing and investigating these acts are attacked and/or replaced, or attempts made to erode their independence and authority. An article inthe December 28, 2006 issue of the Star Bulletin with the headline, “Government Watchdogs Under Attack” summarized some of the more egregious cases. It also cited two cases where Congress had to rescue two watchdogs from getting fired or having their positions terminated.
SB 1091 would authorize the establishment of an investigative unit within the office of the State Auditor to conduct investigations involving alleged or suspected government waste, fraud, abuse or malfeasance. We are not quite ready to comment on all of the details involved, but do support the intent of the bill and the expected outcomes of this serving as a deterrant as well as apprehending those guilty of these crimes against the state, and hence, society in general.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify on SB 1091.