Committee Unanimously Approves Audit of the GAB

MacIver News Service | September 10, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] The Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved an audit of the Government Accountability Board (GAB) on Tuesday on a bipartisan 10-0 vote.

The audit, led by State Auditor Joe Chrisman, would be broad in scope, as requested by the committee. It will evaluate the GAB’s overall management and governance processes; its financial oversight; the training, education, and consultation it provides to external parties; and its process for investigating and resolving complaints.

Kevin Kennedy, Director of the GAB, testified at the hearing and said that he is looking forward to the audit. He said the scope of the audit is broad and it will help improve the processes at the GAB.

“I have already had conversations with the state auditor, and I am confident that both staffs will work together to carry out the goals of the audit,” Kennedy told the committee.

Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Powers Lake), Co-Chairman of the committee, was thankful for the GAB’s willingness to work with the auditor and hopes the audit “brings transparency to the people of how this agency is really run.”

Democrats on the committee were worried that the audit would focus solely on the June 5, 2012 recall election in Racine, which experienced many issues during a recount. However, both Republican committee members and the state auditor made it clear that the audit would look at the GAB as a whole.

Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) echoed these concerns and hoped a broad audit could improve the GAB. “I am very hopeful that what this audit does is not take this power away from them, but actually strengthens them,” Sargent said at the hearing.

Chrisman expects the audit to be completed within the next six months and hopes it is ready for review by the Audit Committee sometime in the spring.