Monday, January 10, 2011

Audit finally scheduled for the Arizona Historical Society

As noted in the Jan 3rd post, an Arizona House committee reviewed the unsatisfactory performance of the AHS in 1998.  Based on public testimony, the committee determined the AHS should be continued, but that there should be another performance audit in not more than 5 years.  However, the Auditor General files contain no record of any subsequent audit.

When asked why there was no subsequent audit, the Auditor Generals office responded saying they had no authority to do a subsequent audit.  They may only audit state agencies as required by statute or as directed and authorized by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (the watchdog may only bark when given permission to do so).

So, the subsequent audit did not happen because the Senate committee (see reference below) did not follow up on the recommendation they placed in their minutes in 1998.  Apparently, they are no better at managing the AHS budget than the AHS board is at managing the AHS.

However, the response from the Auditor General did state that in October of 2010, the JLMC did finally authorize a subsequent audit of the AHS.   That is seven years late.  Even then, the JLBC has no sense of urgency.  The JBLC is requiring the Auditor General to complete the performance audit by 2013.

So, the follow up audit will be completed 15 years after the previous audit documented unsatisfactory performance and 11 years after an investigative report documented conflict of interest.

Obviously, the JBLC does not keep very tight control of the public purse strings.


House Committee of Government Operations and Senate Committee on Government
Sunset Review – Arizona historical Society
Minutes of Meeting Thursday, November 12, 1998
Representative Flake, Co chair

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