State auditor Jim Zeigler announced Monday the results of a new batch of audits of taxpayer property and funds, which reportedly reveal virtually no loss of public money or resources.
All $25 million-plus — including computers, vehicles and electronic property across eight state agencies — was accounted for, his office told Alabama Today.
“We are putting in new safeguards against loss. The word is spreading that there is a new auditor in town and that we are serious about being better stewards of the taxpayers’ property,” Zeigler said in the statement released to AT.
Zeigler said that’s in contrast to results of past audits, in which big ticket items were routinely discovered as lost, at taxpayer expense.
“In the past, the state had missing cars, missing weapons, and missing laptops. We must do a better job and be better stewards of the taxpayers’ property.”
The Office of Finance Telecommunications was especially resource intensive, accounting for about $21 million in public property at their disposal.
Among Zeigler’s reforms aimed at enhancing loss-prevention include a new UPC-style inventory tracking system.
“The auditor’s office now affixes a unique bar code to each item so they can be scanned for inventory,” a news release from Zeigler’s office explained.
The office of the state auditor is responsible for keeping tabs on every item of state-owned property valued at more than $500.
Zeigler says the auspicious beginning to his tenure suggested in the new report — he took office Jan 19 — is a signal of future momentum .
Central to that effort is a “a plan to turn the state auditor’s office into a strong monitor of how tax dollars are used in Montgomery” of which Monday’s news heralds an early first chapter.
The full list of Alabama agencies audited so far by Zeigler, along with state assets held, is:
- Dept. of Postsecondary Education with 444 items worth $937,343.36
- Board of Nursing with 433 items worth $990,051.33
- Dept. of Banking with 482 items worth $898,049.72
- Dept. of Finance Telecommunications with 919 items worth $20,551,789.47
- Judicial Building Authority with 463 items worth $643,228.98
- Dept. of Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention with 82 items worth $127,636.61
- Three Rivers Watershed Management Authority with 13 items worth $669,805.32
- State Board of Pharmacy with 205 items worth $527,932.73