TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers’ requests for internal audits of various state interests are being delayed because there aren’t enough auditors to keep up with the number of requests, according to the head of a legislative committee.
The division has delayed 25 requests for audits of a wide-ranging number of topics from lawmakers in both parties, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
One factor in the slowdown is a 2013 law that required the Division of Legislative Post Audit to audit three school districts per year for the next three years. The auditing division has less than 25 employees, although it has been authorized to add three more this year.
“We really needed that addition we got and hopefully we’ll be able to address audit topics in a more-timely basis,” said Sen. Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia, chairman of the Legislative Post Audit Committee.
The requested audit topics include the Department of Administration’s plan to sell state buildings, the condition of the Board of Cosmetology, the cost-effectiveness of the state death penalty and the Department of Agriculture’s regulation of ethanol blended motor fuels at gas pumps.
The list of delayed audits will be reduced soon, when the committee votes on which topic to assign to the auditors as slots become available. If a topic goes through three selection cycles without being selected it is removed from the list. Legislators on the committee this week selected a request from Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, to audit the state’s substance abuse treatment programs.
Sen. Anthony Hensley, a Democrat from Topeka, said the state would benefit from hiring more auditors.
“I think we always can use more auditors because this committee performs a very valuable function in terms of oversight,” Hensley said.