NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville) praised the work of state auditors today as the Comptroller of the Treasury released its 500th Sunset Performance Audit, calling them “guardians of public trust.”
The milestone audit was performed on TRICOR, a state agency that provides occupational and life skills training for Tennessee’s incarcerated population. A 2015 performance audit showing financial mismanagement prompted the General Assembly to demand changes to make the agency more accountable and transparent. The agency has since taken proactive steps to address and correct several of the serious problems with more changes expected in the future.
“Audits are a vital part of our sunset review process,” said Chairman Bell, whose committee reviews 270 state government agencies at least once every eight years to determine whether an entity should be abolished, restructured, or continued. “The public’s trust rests on government being openly accountable for its decisions, actions and mistakes. That is what this process is about and, as such, our auditors are guardians of the public trust.”
Performance audit reports were first put into place in 1977 as part of the Tennessee Governmental Entity Review Law, commonly known as the Sunset Law, to ensure departments and agencies of state government are carrying out the programs for which they are responsible and that controls are in place to protect taxpayer money from misappropriation and misuse. In addition to performance audits, the Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of State Audit conducts financial and compliance audits, information systems audits, attestation engagements, investigations, and special studies to provide the General Assembly, the Governor, and the citizens of Tennessee with objective information about the state’s financial condition and the performance of the state’s many agencies and programs.
“The Tennessee General Assembly and the Government Operations Committees have played a critical role in holding government entities accountable,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “Tennessee government is stronger today thanks to the Sunset process and the work of the General Assembly.”