Bill lets state agencies hire private CPAs for audits

DES MOINES — The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that would let the governor and the state executive council bypass the State Auditor’s Office and hire private CPAs to audit all state agencies.

Senator Mike Bousselot, a Republican from Ankeny, is the bill’s sponsor.  “The bottom line is that Iowans deserve better,” Bousselot said. “…Efficiency can occur by leveraging national firms, CPA firms that have extended expertise (and)…independent, non-partisan certified public accountants.”

All 31 Republicans present voted for the proposal — the first bill to pass the Senate this year. All 16 Democrats in the Senate voted against it.

Senator Tony Bisignano of Des Moines says the bill means State Auditor Rob Sand, the only Democrat serving in statewide office, would not be able to investigate state agency spending. “He was elected by the people of Iowa, just like your governor,” Bisignano said, “and then you have the audacity to…try to neuter the auditor so the people Iowa cannot see the daylight on the budgets and the expenses that’s happening in this state.”

The bill now goes to the Iowa House for consideration.