No news is good news

Published 2:46 am Sunday, December 4, 2005

By By Beth Chapman – State Auditor
Indictments, corporate fraud, and government corruption – all stories (bad news) shared with you via the media. I know it's their job and I'm embarrassed that they have so many justifiable reasons to report bad news to you regarding your government.
However, there's good news too, and it has a way of going unreported. The State Auditor's office for the first time in history released a 96 percent perfect year end report and a 100 percent perfect audit fourth quarter report which ironically went unreported statewide. In addition, the State Auditor's Office in one term audits $1.6 billion dollars of state property. That's more than the entire General Fund Budget.
They say no news is good news. If so, my staff and I have had lots of good news for the past two and a half years.
When members of the Legislature wanted to abolish the State Auditor's Office two years ago, it was big news. But when the Auditor's office produced the highest, best return ever with the least amount of money possible, and was the only state agency to ask for level funding for four straight years, the office was no longer news at all.
The State Auditor's Office has given you 96 percent record-breaking, historic perfect audits while taking a 25 percent budget cut – better results with less money which equals good government and the highest level of accountability attainable – and you heard nothing about it. If it were the opposite, you'd hear everything about it.
Everyone knows that one of the biggest problems with government is that the average citizen, and rightfully so, has lost all confidence in their government and all trust in their elected officials. Everyone agrees that confidence and trust must be restored to the people.
If even one item in state government is missing – that's one too many. However, 96 percent perfect audits is getting extremely close to perfection – only 4 percent stands in the way. I hope we will conquer the 4 percent and we can have 100 percent perfect audits and total accountability in our government agencies, but if we do, it is likely that you will never hear about it.
Believe me, if my staff reaches perfection, and we're striving toward that goal, we'll make sure you know it. But in the mean time, we just want you to know we're getting close. After all, no news is good news and good news is no news at all.

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