It will be a shame to have a person that tried to take GRAMA away to have hidden
government and non-open and is not bound by ethical standards as a CPA is.I guess people in Utah wanted that.
It is interesting that the elected State Auditor has a responsibility to the
public to be an open forum for ensuring an ethical audit is done. John Dougall
has an interesting past with HB477 as the sponsor of a bill that would have made
it better for legislators and potentially governmental employees to be protected
by GRAMA. He wanted a person seeking disclosure of the record to establish with
a “preponderance of evidence” that public interest outweighs the
interest favoring restriction of access. Some of the language was considered
so disconcerting that language was removed in HB 477 that would have shut off
access to whole classes of government communications. In an earlier 2009 case
the Utah Supreme Court held to the intent language of the 1991 GRAMA. Dougall
stated that is not what the legislature intended, even though he was not a
member of the legislature in 1991. He stated, “The intent language is
supposed to set up statutory stuff, not trump it.”
It will be interesting how he will mix politics with his job as State Auditor as
he will force government agencies to open their books to get good CPA type
audits from a non-CPA. How many people would get on an airliner with a pilot
that was qualified to fly a Cessna but not a Boeing 767? This person
isn’t even the Cessna pilot type of CPA. At least a Cessna pilot would
know some of the language the air traffic controller was saying, even though he
might not know the 767 operations. He knows you add power to takeoff and
pullback power to land but not too much in between. He would know how to set in
frequencies on the radios, maybe. I guess the President of the
United States chose a person as Secretary of the Treasury who didn't pay
income taxes and worked around that. He has shown us he can't come up with
a working or legislative budget to run our country. Maybe the voters in Utah
have chosen the same type of individual for State Auditor, the author of HB477.
Open and fair auditing with someone who hides in GRAMA?
another extreme politician put in what should be a professional office. Maybe
its time to make the offices of attorney general, auditor and treasurer non
If its an elected office its political. There is no requirement that a CPA head
the office of auditor. This GRANMA thing is ancient history to your average
voter. What voters remember is that Dougall tried to change/end the very
unpopular vehicle safety inspection program, and was able to reduce inspections
from every two years to every four. This has a real financial impact on your
average motorist. A lot of votes came from this, mine did, in fact I changed
parties to vote for Dougall. The average voter also distrusts people that have
been in office too long as becoming entrenched bureaucrats. Dougall promised
he'd step down after 10 years, and he kept that promise. He also
demonstrated that he is frugal, he paid for his own computer and cell phone
while in office. Your average hard pressed voter appreciates that their tax
money didn't go to pay for these perks. Austin Johnson may be a very nice
person, I'm sure he is, but Dougall visibly earned the respect of the
public, and so he won.
GRAMA isn't ancient history. It is what government in Utah goes by.
Dougall is very political and State Auditor, even though elected through the
party system, is and should be a professional. He used his own computer and
cell phone was to not have to any government computer with his communication.
He knows GRAMA and his government computer would not have anything one it, not
that he was FRUGAL. I am sure the government still paid for a computer and cell
phone for him, as he would produce those for a GRAMA request and they would be
empty. We need an Auditor that is elected politically but not of that mindset.
We will most likely have real politician and one that is not a CPA or an
accountant doing that type of oversight. The Democrats have Mark
Sage an internationally certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and has
over 33 years federal service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United
States Navy (enlisted), and United States Air Force (civilian). He was
responsible for planning, budgeting, managing, executing and accounting for
multiple government contracts worth millions of taxpayers’ dollars.He sounds as if he has qualifications and experience to trump.
Sounds like Mark Sage doesn't have a CPA either, but suddenly he has more
qualifications and experience? I think the white elephant standing in the room
is really the safety inspection program. Those pesky voters just don't
want to vote how they "should", they vote how they want to, just like
they don't want some nanny-state bureaucrats telling them how they should
take care of their vehicles.
Although his relationship with GRAMA is troubling, it is not the biggest problem
with John Dougall becoming State Auditor. The foundation of his attack on Auston
Johnson is that he doesn't foucus on auditing the controls of Medicaid and
allowed split-biased transactions to occur at DABC. The constitutional role of
the State Aditor, however, is not to address these issues. Althought he
Legislative Auditor General's DABC report states that the Office of the
State Auditor had concerning findings with DABC, contrary to Dougall's
claim. Ultimately, though, the State Auditor is to attest to the material
accuracy of the state's CAFR. It is not his constituional role to audit the
controls, or lack thereof, found in Medicaid. For someone like Dougall who
believes so vehemently in constitutional limits on government, I am suprised
that he has criticized Johnson for not stepping out of his constituionally
defined role and that he has stated that he himself intends to do so.