Senate OKs more fiscal transparency for state agencies; bill enacts 2018 recommendation

Ponca City Now - February 19, 2020 3:43 pm

(Digital audio available at www.oksenate.gov under Media)
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate approved legislation to improve fiscal transparency and accountability of Oklahoma’s state agencies.

Senate Bill 177, by Sen. Ron Sharp, was one of the seven recommendations made by the multi-grand jury in May 2018 following the discovery of financial issues at the State Department of Health.

SB 177 requires state agencies to provide a balance sheet and statement of revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balances as prescribed by the State Auditor and the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

“Not only was this a grand jury recommendation to prevent future misuse of funds and financial deception by state agencies, but Oklahomans have demanded more agency accountability and transparency of their tax funds.  These are their hard-earned dollars, and they deserve to know how every penny is spent.” Sharp said.

The financial information is to be published online by Jan. 1, 2021.  The bill was written with input from the State Auditor, OMES and the State Comptroller.

“We must ensure that the deceit and financial mismanagement that occurred at the state Health Department a couple of years ago never happens in our state government again. By publishing the information online, the public can help the legislature hold our state agencies more accountable,” Sharp said. “Full transparency and accountability ensure that tax dollars are used efficiently to support the state services Oklahomans need.”

Rep. Daniel Pae, R-Lawton, is the principal House author of SB 177, which now moves to the House for further consideration.

 

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