Senator McLachlan, Representative Devlin Call for Public Hearings on Auditors’ Reports

June 13, 2018

Say Hearings for Reports on Three Agencies Overdue

Hartford – State Senator Michael McLachlan and Representative Laura Devlin are calling on their committee co-chairs to schedule hearings on agency reports from the State Auditors of Public Accounts (APA). The legislators sent a letter to the General Administration & Elections Committee Co-Chairs Senator Mae Flexer and Representative Daniel Fox.

While Sen. McLachlan (R-24) is a GAE Co-Chair, public hearings must be called by two of the committee Co-Chairs. Under state law, the GAE Committee is required to hold public hearings on the APA reports within 180 days of issuance. Hearings for three state agencies are overdue.

“Voters elected us to be the caretakers of taxpayer dollars and ensure that state agencies are spending those tax dollars efficiently and for their intended purposes,” Sen. McLachlan said. “These hearings allow legislators to question the state agencies about the Auditors’ findings, how these issues were able to occur, and what the agencies will do to prevent further occurrences. Allowing the statutory deadlines to pass without these public hearings does a great disservice to our employers, the taxpayers of Connecticut.”

The APA issued reports for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Connecticut State University System Office, and the Division of Criminal Justice in November of 2017. According to the law, hearing should have been conducted before the end of May. A report for the Connecticut Community College System was issued in December of 2017. The deadline for a hearing on that agency’s report is June 17.

State Rep. Laura Devlin is the head House Republican on the General Administration & Elections Committee.

“Many times, the auditors uncover significant findings that we should NOT allow to collect dust leading to further fiscal maleficence,” said Rep. Laura Devlin (R-134). “Legislators are elected to make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely not wasted.”

Some of the APA findings include:

Veterans Affairs

  • A lack of documentation indicating that a $25,000 donation to the agency was intended for employee appreciation expenses.
  • A lack of documentation verifying the receipt of gift cards by veterans in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
  • The inability to identify what happened to 9 out of 21 gift cards returned to the agency.

    Division of Criminal Justice

  • Retirees may be rehired no more than twice for a maximum of 120 days for each hire. Nine of 11 retirees were rehired more than twice.
  • Incomplete vehicle usage reports including 479 miles of use not appropriately documented.

Community Colleges

  • Six uses of an agency purchasing card being used at a restaurant, a prohibited use
  • Two instances where a vendor receipt was not kept to verify a purchase.

    Sen. McLachlan and Rep. Devlin said they would like the public hearings to be scheduled as soon as possible so they can question agencies about the APA findings.

    Sen. McLachlan is Co-Chair of the Government Administration & Elections Committee and the General Bonding Subcommittee. He is Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee and Labor & Public Employees Committee Member. He is also a member of the Executive & Legislative Nominations Committee, Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, and Legislative Management Committee. He represents the communities of Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, and Sherman.

    Rep. Laura Devlin is ranking member of the Government Administration & Elections Committee, She additionally sits on the Transportation Committee, the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and is a member of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee. She represents the communities of Fairfield and Trumbull.

  •  Joint ltr to GAE re audits (2)