New state auditor reports progress in first 100 days

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State Auditor Kathleen McGuiness issued a report detailing her first 100 days in office.

In a release, she measures taken since her inauguration designed to “reset the Auditors Office.”

The office had come under fire over the years for not having adequate staffing and not uncovering problems under McGuiness’ predecessor Tom Wagner. The final months of Wagner’s term saw the dismissal of his chief deputy who went on to run unsuccessfully against McGuiness.

“Delaware’s Constitution imparts important responsibilities to the State Auditors Office, responsibilities designed to contribute to the state’s fiscal health,” McGuiness said. “By ensuring tax dollars are spent in the manner intended, it gives confidence to Delawareans, businesses and credit rating organizations that our state’s financial house is in order.”

McGuiness cited the following changes

• Restructuring the office;
• Restoring resources to the office;
• Re-examining how the office functions; and,
• Restarting active community outreach.

McGuiness’ report indicted the office completed and released unpublished investigations she inherited, began a recruitment program to address the 50 percent staff vacancy rate, cancelled unnecessary contracts, upgraded office technology, and launched anoutreach program to raise awareness of the Auditors Office.

McGuiness decided last year to take the initiative to audit the Auditors Office.

“I contracted with a private auditing firm, one that never did business with the Auditors Office, to examine all aspects of the office’s past and current operations and functions and then benchmark us against national standards and other state auditor offices,” McGuiness said. “Their report will identify the office’s strengths, opportunities to improve, and serve as a roadmap in our path to make the Auditors Office relevant again. When the report is finished, I will release its findings and recommendations.

“I believe this office can do better…and will do better,” McGuiness stated. “It has to do better because its roles and responsibilities factor greatly into maintaining Delaware’s fiscal health and giving Delawareans confidence that their tax dollars are being spent properly.”

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