State auditor launches quick review process

State Auditor Tom Schweich is starting new efforts in his office to quickly launch reviews and check whether problems identified in audits are corrected.

Under the first program, the auditor’s office would have a “rapid response team” that would begin investigations after substantial and credible evidence surfaces about possible fraud, violations of state or federal laws, mismanagement and the risk of loss of confidence in government. One of the unit’s primary responsibilities will be to ensure documents and evidence is preserved, Schweich said.

The second program is designed to monitor how well government entities respond to previous audit recommendations. The auditor’s office plans to work with the agencies it audits to develop a timeline for implementing recommendations from the state reviews. Schweich’s office plans to publish an annual status report to track how government agencies are doing at addressing the problems that have been identified.

Both efforts are designed to help the office hold government accountable and respond to past complaints that the auditor’s office has taken too long to examine problems and that it cannot enforce its own recommendations.

He said the changes to the auditor’s office will lead to speedier action and a more complete follow through of recommendations.

“It’s going to result in the people of Missouri getting answers quicker and making sure that corrections are made when problems are found,” Schweich said.

Former Greene County Prosecutor Darrell Moore will lead both auditor’s office programs. Moore also will be the chief litigation counsel for the auditor’s office.

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