Lara's Local Government Transparency and Oversight Measure Garners Unanimous Support

June 14, 2012

AB 1345 provides safeguards to protect taxpayers from waste, fraud and abuse

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Governance and Finance Committee unanimously passed AB 1345 yesterday, a taxpayer protection measure that strengthens the current independent audit process of local government. The measure by Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D- Bell Gardens) will identify and timely correct financial mismanagement at the local government level by requiring local government to submit their annual financial audits conducted by independent audit firms to the State Controller and by requiring local governments to rotate audit partners every six years. The audit partner rotation ensures independent auditors truly maintain their independence.

"AB 1345 is a proactive measure that will go a long way in protecting taxpayers from abuse and mismanagement of funds," said Lara. "Things can go wrong when the proper checks aren't in place. This bill provides a necessary check over independent audits and ensures the quality of local government audits are not compromised," said Lara.

Over the year, recent audits conducted by the State Controller found that millions of state, federal and local funds have been misspent by various cities throughout the state. According to the Controller, the misuse of funds could be attributed to a lack of adequate checks and balances. AB 1345 seeks to correct this.

AB 1345 received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee with a vote of 8-0. The bill will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.