The AGA (Association of Government Accountants) recently estimated that
60 billion dollars would be lost to waste and fraud as the federal
government sends the stimulus package monies to the nation's cities,
counties and states. Has that got your attention. It certainly got
That recent estimation of fraud and waste prompted Kip Memmott, our
Director of Internal Audit in the Denver Auditor's Office, to warn at a
recent audit committee meeting, that in an economic downturn,
auditors play an even more important role in the financial affairs.
Some jurisdictions have even tried to do away with auditors all
together. This year the Nebraska legislature considered a bill to do
away with the office of Auditor for Douglas County, mostly Omaha. I
wrote a letter to the Nebraska legislators informing them that we may
not always like what the auditor has to report, but the facts have to
be reported. I am pleased to report that the legislators listened to me
and defeated the bill doing away with an office of accountability. Tom
Cavanaugh of Omaha is still the elected auditor. Tom's two brothers,
Tom and John, graduated from Regis University some years back.
And you may have read that the Jefferson County Commissioners voted to
cut funding for their auditor. Not a prudent way to save money. If I
were a federal auditor I would be wary of any stimulus monies going
to a governmental entity with no auditor.
And you may have read that I traveled to Washington to encourage our
Federal legislators to include some money for local auditors to make
sure there is no waste and fraud in the stimulus grants. I reminded
Senator Mark Udall that Colorado was selected as one of 16 states for
special review of all the stimulus monies coming to our state.
Hopefully the federal government has heard how well we audit the monies
they send us.
I want you to know that we will do all we can to monitor stimulus
monies coming to Denver. I told the Mayor recently, "We do not want
any fraud or waste on our watch." And Denver taxpayers don't want any