Support Builds for House Bill 384 - Would Expand Audits to Ohio's Public Colleges and Universities
January 20, 2016 - 1:00 AM
COLUMBUS – Support is growing for House Bill 384 to expand
performance audits to Ohio’s public colleges and universities.
testimony provided today to the House Government Accountability and
Oversight Committee highlighted the merits of the legislation. Those
providing testimony included nationally-known economist Dr. Richard
Vedder and Greg Lawson of The Buckeye Institute. The bill passed out of
the committee on a unanimous vote.
“Every dollar saved through a performance audit helps our
universities control tuition costs for students,” Auditor Yost said.
“Performance audits have already saved Ohio’s state agencies millions
of dollars, so taking a deeper look at the operations of our colleges
and universities is just smart government.”
Dr. Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at
Ohio University, provided written proponent testimony in today’s
hearing, saying, “The auditor can identify best practices and promote
expanding them statewide.”
“The State Auditor now assures that universities spend money legally;
additionally sometimes the Auditor needs to say if funds are being
spent responsibly,” Dr. Vedder said. “Higher education costs have
skyrocketed, and powerful constituencies within universities sometimes
promote spending that benefits a few but does not serve the broader
social good. Performance auditing can help curb wasteful spending that
increases the already too high cost of attending college.”
The Buckeye Institute provided interested party testimony and
highlighted the Auditor of State’s expertise in finding ways to curb
costs and helping entities become more efficient.
“Student debt loads are at a crisis level in Ohio and the U.S. at
large. Any and all ways to reduce the costs of Higher Education need to
be examined as a way to relieve these back breaking loads on future
Ohioans,” said Greg Lawson, Statehouse Liaison and Policy Analyst at The
Buckeye Institute. “Allowing the Auditor of State to conduct
performance audits is not only a natural extension of authority the
office already has with respect to other state agencies, but could be an
instrumental tool in finding just such savings."
Sponsored by Representatives Tim Schaffer and Mike Duffey, House Bill
384 would amend current law and grant the Auditor of State’s office the
authority to conduct performance audits of state institutions of higher
education as one of the four required performance audits each biennium.
Like the performance audits of state agencies, institutions of higher
education would be required to report to the General Assembly on any
recommendations that are not implemented within three months after the
end of the comment period.
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