Controller Agrees with Recommendations on Audits
In announcing that her office will not appeal the decision by Common Pleas Court over who has the power to conduct audits of authorities, the Allegheny County Controller points out that state law should change in order to give the power of auditing authorities to an office other than state Attorney General.
“The judge’s decision reinforces that state law governing these authorities is severely deficient when it comes to oversight of the large amounts of public money they spend…For instance, the office of the Attorney General—which does not have an auditing department or employ auditors—having financial oversight of authorities simply does not make sense. I will be calling on state lawmakers to change these laws in order to ensure that the more than $1 billion in spending by County-related authorities each year receives meaningful oversight.”
The Institute wrote earlier this year that a simple change in state law would turn the power of examining the books of the Sports and Exhibition Authority to the Auditor General. Of the four authorities the County Controller wished to audit (SEA, Airport Authority, Alcosan, and Port Authority) the Common Pleas Court decision noted that the Auditor General has auditing power over the Port Authority by virtue of the law that created that Authority. The Attorney General is mentioned in the law creating the SEA and the general municipal authority law that applies to Alcosan and the Airport Authority.