Bill to let state agencies bypass State Auditor and hire private CPAs tabled

DES MOINES — A bill that would have let state agency budgets be audited by private CPA firms rather than the State Auditor’s Office has stalled in the Iowa House.

It was the first bill Republicans in the Iowa Senate passed this year, but House State Government Committee chair Jane Bloomingdale did not bring it up for a vote today in her committee’s last meeting of the year.

“The auditor bill didn’t have support in this committee and also one of the big concerns was the expense of hiring outside firms,” Bloomingdale, a Republican from Northwood, told reporters after the meeting.

A Legislative Services Agency analysis found hourly rates for private CPA firms were far higher than the rate for CPAs in the State Auditor’s Office.

Friday of this week is the deadline for policy bills from the Senate like this one to clear a House committee, so the proposal is likely tabled for good.

State Auditor Rob Sand, the only Democrat elected to statewide office, has said the bill would have let state government “insiders” pick “lapdog CPAs” who’d cover up corruption