Legislative auditors could replace agency liaisons

Nearly every Oklahoma state agency has a legislative liaison on staff whose job is to meet with lawmakers, present ideas and discuss pending legislation.

A proposal by Norman Sen. Rob Standridge, however, would replace that job with an employee of the Legislature, an internal auditor answerable to lawmakers.

“I believe that the auditors could perform a very similar function,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “Their primary job is to audit and look at all the expenses, but they could also, if an agency needs some policy change or something, they could communicate that to the Legislature.”

State agencies have come under intense scrutiny after a series of financial controversies that lawmakers have blamed on poor fiscal reporting and lack of oversight. Standridge said the auditors, who would be employed by the Legislative Service Bureau, could help solve that problem.

“We cannot be responsible for the peoples’ money until we have moles or auditors inside the walls of those agencies telling us how they spend their money,” he said.

Some lawmakers have publicly expressed frustration with agencies and the way they interact with the House and…

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