Conduct Regular Audits of Agencies

Auditors from outside government should examine state agencies’ books regularly. That seems like common sense.

But in West Virginia, audits are conducted only after cause for concern surfaces or new people are elected or appointed to head agencies. That can lead to unpleasant revelations such as that several days ago, regarding the state Department of Agriculture. There, legislative auditors uncovered a suspicious $5 million loan program. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is looking into it.

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has suggested agencies – and even the Legislature itself – should be subjected to regular audits. “People in West Virginia are sick and tired of this culture of corruption that infests state government,” Morrisey commented.

Morrisey is right. Legislators should order regular audits to ensure the public’s money is being spent appropriately – and legally.