State Auditor Mary Mosiman, who in her previous job stood by and watched other people collect salaries for doing no work, has doubled down on her defense of the status quo in state auditing procedures.
Geyer’s article was headlined, “State Auditor one of lesser known races in election.” That’s a shame, because more Iowans should hear about this:
“Most every entity in the state is required to have an annual audit,” Mosiman said. “That audit is not designed to catch fraud, but to ensure that the financial position of the government entities is correctly presented.”
Although some think the office is there to catch fraud, that is not the case, she said.
“In reality, frauds are sometimes caught by annual audit work in simple documents,” Mosiman said. “But mostly, frauds are brought forward by tips by individuals.”
Democratic challenger Jon Neiderbach blasted Mosiman’s “reckless comments”:
Our tax money is at risk until a whistleblower steps forward, it is scary to think how much is being stolen while we wait…and being a whistleblower in Iowa’s smaller towns is really hard. BUT THERE’S MORE: Her comments mean that every potential embezzler now knows they have little to fear from annual audits, making theft more attractive. Think of the impact if the IRS announced its audits weren’t designed to find fraud.
Neiderbach wants the State Auditor’s Office to improve on “grossly inadequate” audits, such as a three-page report on a state agency with a $100 million budget. He told the Quad-City Times,
“Iowans deserve a state auditor who looks beyond just the bookkeeping,” he said. “The auditor should look for efficiency and effectiveness and whether government is working in a businesslike manner. […] The auditor should be digging to see if fraud is being committed.”
There are many ways the auditor could push for efficiencies, Neiderbach said.
“The office has subpoena power,” he said. “That is a clear indication that they expect the auditor to be aggressively digging for opportunities to make government work better.”
I have rarely heard an incumbent sound as complacent as Mosiman. It’s not as if she has a lot to brag about. Under her supervision and that of her predecessor David Vaudt, annual audits failed to uncover lots of irregularities in state agencies, including dozens of secret settlements with former government employees. You would think she would recognize there’s room for improvement.