Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Got this from the State Party a few minutes ago

I don't know that it's sinister, but I don't know that it's not," says State Auditor General

CHICAGO - Citing that there was "clearly some inappropriate activity" regarding the State's Central Management Services (CMS) handling of taxpayer's dollars, the State's Auditor General released a highly critical audit this afternoon, which he in turn handed over to Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.

According to the Associated Press, today's audit: ".concluded that CMS paid companies thousands of dollars for expenses that were not documented or were clearly improper, lacked basic paperwork explaining how contracts were awarded and gave contracts to companies that had helped write the criteria for who would get state business. It also found that the agency could not document millions of dollars in savings it claims to have achieved through programs to improve government efficiency." (Associated Press, "Auditor refers scathing CMS audit to attorney general." April 26, 2005)

"We applaud the State Auditor for his comprehensive, and exhaustive, examination of this important issue," said Andy McKenna, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. "Illinois taxpayers should know how their hard earned money is being spent, and those officials who mishandle that responsibility should be held accountable for their actions."

McKenna said today's audit also shows that CMS, which Gov. Blagojevich has touted as a model of government efficiency, is just another example of the Governor's disengaged leadership and mismanagement of a State agency.

During a press conference this afternoon to explain the audit's findings, Auditor General William Holland said CMS's unwillingness to acknowledge the need for improvement was his biggest concern.

"Sloppy is a very kind word," said Holland when responding to a reporter's question regarding CMS' procedures.

-- However I would suggest we keep quiet on this at the party level for a day or so and see how the democrats using this to score some points on the Governor themselves. A weakened governor may be easier to control come budget showdown time.

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