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Politics

State Auditor Says Subpoenas are Possible When Audits Uncover Major Problems

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/stateaudit_8096.mp3

State Auditor Tom Schweich says his office will do everything it can to follow-up on audits that identify serious problems such as the embezzlement of funds. KSMU’s Missy Shelton reports.

Speaking on the public television program Jeff City Journal, State Auditor Tom Schweich says his office is going to be more vigilant about following up on some audits. He says he could issue subpoenas, if necessary.

“This office has subpoena power. It has powers that are not frequently exercised. What we want people to do is commit to making changes, maybe even under oath, come back and see if they’ve made those changes. And if there are problems, we put them under oath again.”

Schweich adds that subpoenas would not be used to follow-up on routine audits.

“But if there’s a huge problem, if an entity has processes and procedures in place that are so weak, people are embezzling or doing serious things, we want a commitment, a binding commitment they’re going to correct that. And we’ll keep the audit open and send someone back to make sure they’ve fulfilled those commitments.”

In looking at past audits, Schweich says there are a couple of examples where subpoena power could’ve been used.

“There were some parts of the audit of the City of St Louis with the bail bonds. And there were some issues with towing contracts in the Northeast Fire and Ambulance District where I think putting people’s feet to the fire would’ve resulted in quicker action.”

Besides possibly using subpoena power, Schweich is implementing a new ratings system that takes into account whether an entity has implemented the recommendations of past audits.