Taylor Initiative Helps Protect State Tax Dollars

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Columbus -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor says state tax dollars are better protected today now that her comprehensive plan to establish independent oversight, accountability and transparency in the way state government operates and spends tax dollars has become law.

“Today is a great day for Ohio’s taxpayers,” Taylor said. “The enactment of House Bill 166 means that allegations of fraud, waste and abuse of state tax dollars cannot be ignored by management like they were at BWC.  I’m glad to see Ohio taking the lead in the way that it protects taxpayer dollars.”

House Bill 166 establishes an independent, professionally trained state audit committee and charges it with the oversight of a state internal audit plan. The measure also requires that all internal audit findings and reports be publicly released.

Taylor first began looking at best practices in the private sector to protect investment and spending as a state legislator in 2005 following the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) rare coin investment scandal. According to several published reports, an internal auditor at the BWC raised concerns regarding the investment. However, those concerns were dismissed by agency administrators.

The final version of the bill preserves the core principles of Taylor’s initiative retaining enhanced independence, accountability, transparency and oversight in the way state government spends taxpayer dollars.

State Representative Carol-Ann Schindel, R-Leroy Township, sponsored House Bill 166 in the Ohio House of Representatives while state Senator Bob Spada, R-North Royalton, carried the initiative in the Ohio Senate.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).