Governor Issues Statement Concerning GRDA Audit, Oklahoma Impact Investigation

Tuesday, December 13th 2011, 2:31 pm
By: News 9

The performance audit into the Grand River Dam Authority, released Thursday, December 8, 2011 was done at the request of Governor Mary Fallin.

The audit addressed several problems at the state agency, including possible conflicts of interest.

Read the official audit

Tuesday, Governor Fallin's Press Secretary, Alex Weintz, released the following statement to the Oklahoma Impact Team:

"Governor Fallin is pleased the audit has been completed and has thanked State Auditor Gary Jones for his work. The audit highlights areas at the GRDA in need of improvement, especially in regards to efficiency, accountability, transparency and the need to reduce the potential for instances of waste, fraud and abuse. The governor looks forward to working with the organization's new CEO, Dan Sullivan, to ensure the GRDA is best serving the interests of taxpayers and ratepayers.

Furthermore, the audit highlights the need to give the governor and other officials tasked with making appointments more flexibility in determining the composition of the GRDA board. Board members are currently serving staggered, seven year terms, a situation which discourages accountability and reform. In instances where the governor or another elected official would be interested in changing the composition of the board, their hands are largely tied by current statute. Governor Fallin would support legislation allowing board members to be more easily replaced.

Meanwhile State Auditor Gary Jones is asking the Legislature to take action and create a permanent performance audit division in the auditor's office. Currently, performance audits are performed only by request from the Governor, a joint or concurrent resolution by the Legislature or the CEO of a government entity. Jones released the following statements to the Oklahoma Impact Team:

The best way to improve is to follow good examples. The State of Washington, which passed a similar initiative, is reaping the benefits of performance audits by identifying waste and recommending solutions to improve delivery of services at less cost to the taxpayers.

We're looking at best models and practices to improve the performance and efficiency of Oklahoma government. We will achieve similar results in Oklahoma, once given the chance. Armed with the knowledge provided from these audits, agency heads and legislators can make informed decisions to effectively reduce the size of government without sacrificing the services it provides."

12/9/2011 Related Story: GRDA Bidding Process Under Fire In New Audit