JEFFERSON CITY (Oct. 1, 2013) – Deputy State Auditor Harry Otto today released the audit of Lt. Governor Peter Kinder’s office today.
In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Good.
The Lt. Governor’s office is in the process of creating a website, Missouri Waste Report, for the public to report suspected misuse of public funds. However, except for concerns related to specific duties provided by state law, the Lt. Governor lacks the statutory authority to investigate public concerns regarding the suspected misuse of taxpayer monies or to create a website or telephone hotline for that purpose.
Because neither state law nor Governor Executive Orders authorize the Lt. Governor to address misuse of public funds, the Lt. Governor lacks the legal authority to access information and persons necessary to thoroughly investigate such misuse and to keep the identity of persons reporting concerns confidential and exempt from the Sunshine Law.
State law provides statutory protection for whistleblowers and concerned citizens who fear retribution for sharing sensitive or troublesome information about a state or local government agency with the state auditor’s office.
Moreover, because state law already provides other elected officials and agencies, such as the State Auditor, the Attorney General, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation, with authority to investigate fraud and misuse of funds, the Lt. Governor’s Missouri Waste Report is a duplication of effort and a waste of state resources.
The General Assembly increased the Lt. Governor’s fiscal year 2014 personnel service appropriation by $38,000 to support the website; through July 2013, the office had spent $2,700 and the Lt. Governor’s campaign committee paid $1,189 for the website.
To read the full report, visit: http://www.auditor.mo.gov/Press/2013-099.pdf.