TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators John H. Adler and Barbara Buono which would give the State Auditor the authority to conduct performance reviews of State agencies to ensure that government is held accountable for its spending was signed into law yesterday by the Governor.
“New Jersey’s residents pay more for government services than any other people in the country,” said Senator Adler, D-Cherry Hill. “Without strong oversight, there’s absolutely no reason why they should have faith that the money is being spent efficiently. We need to tie government funding to results in our State’s programs, and make the necessary changes to promote maximum efficiency.”
“Government spending has to be transparent and open, so that taxpayers can have faith that we’re working as responsible stewards of their hard-earned money,” said Senator Buono. “By giving the Auditor more authority to conduct reviews, and demanding a results-driven government, we can restore the taxpayers’ faith, and begin to stabilize our spending.”
The bill, S-1745, would require the State Auditor to conduct performance review audits on ongoing State programs conducted by agencies and departments under State Government, in accordance with generally-accepted accounting principles held by the United States General Accounting Office. Currently, the Auditor is limited to conducting post-audits, taking into account State spending actions only after they’ve already taken place. The bill would expand the Auditor’s focus, and require the Auditor to report their findings to the Legislature, in order to help eliminate waste and improve efficiency.
“The current audit review system only gives us an idea of waste after it’s already happened,” said Senator Adler. “This new law gives the Auditor more authority to stop payment on wasteful spending, before the taxpayers get socked with a bill.”
The bill was approved by the Senate and the Assembly in June.