Responses from Pam Myhra, Republican candidate for State Auditor:
What is your most important responsibility as State Auditor?
The most important responsibility of the State Auditor is to lead the office and set the tone in providing accountability and transparency in the use of government resources, our taxpayer dollars, through various financial and performance audits and reviews in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards.
In recent years, the Legislature changed Minnesota law to allow counties to use independent auditors for fiscal reviews instead of the State Auditor’s office. Does this weaken the Auditor’s office, and should the law be reviewed?
I do not believe the 2015 law passed by a Democrat controlled Senate, a Republican controlled House and signed into law by the Democrat governor weakens the Auditor’s office and I do not believe the law should be overturned. April 18, 2018 the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the 2015 Minnesota law allowing Minnesota counties the same audit choice as Minnesota cities have and, importantly, allows for greater independence in the audit function as required by Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards. Additionally, the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision affirmed ‘the Minnesota State Auditor retains significant duties and responsibilities in connection with audits of Minnesota counties’ which reaffirms the importance of the State Auditor’s roll.
How active should a State Auditor be investigating local governments beyond annual fiscal reviews?
Local government management is responsible for finding fraud, errors and abuse within their organizations. The State Auditor should be responsible for following up on any problems found in the normal course of an audit or review.