While the Oklahoma legislature convenes this morning, others in state office are 'going to the mattresses' to survive the Health Dept scandal and in some cases, avoid even more severe outcomes.
Steve Anderson is a long-time Oklahoman who has served in various govt. accounting & finance roles. He is a former comptroller for the state of Kansas. Anderson is a research fellow at OCPA.
To hear his explanation, both Jones and Doerflinger have failed and are seeking to distract the attention to the other one. Here is some of Anderson's dissertation...
Steve Anderson's writings are a part of Real Fiscal Conservatism in Govt., OCPA, and other publications.
IN WHAT PROGRAMS AND FUNDS DID THE $30 M SHORTFALL OCCUR?
Why you may ask did I shout that at you? It is because this is the question---and answer--- that goes to the heart of not only understanding the problem but identifying who was involved in this travesty.
Knowing which funds and how the money was moved will get at whether we have fraud or incompentency. I suspect fraud at the OSDH level and incompentency at OMES and possibly with the State Auditor's office.
OSDH has had a long history of fraud---If you remember the ghost employees were hidden over in that agency. Director Cline who also was a Cabinet Secretary under Governor Fallin is a really nice guy but was known as someone who the 'empathy card' could be played on. Not who you put at a agency with the history of OSDH. That reflects on OSDH's governing board and the Governor.
OMES is fully under the Governor's two key people Denise Northrup and Preston Doerflinger. OMES can only have missed the issue with a shortfall IF the budget analyst was incompetent and the management review of their work was poorly planned and/or not done. I worked in this office during the end of the Keating years and Tom Daxon would have never missed something this large or that went on this long! Northrup and Doerflinger are accountable for the performance of OMES and should be held accountable and fired.
The State Auditor's office performs the audit on the Consolidated Annual Financial Report which OMES prepares. This once again brings OMES and the state comptroller into the line of acccountability. If this has been going on for more than one year as alleged, they have been presenting for audit a fraudulent financial for OSDH. Doerflinger and the State Comptroller signed the CAFR and should be held accountable and fired. We outsourced the preparaton of the CAFR in Kansas when I was State Comptroller and it is a prudent and cost effective way to improve the quality of the work done.
The Auditor auditing the CAFR must be stopped immediately and the audit outsourced as we also did in Kansas. Truly independent auditors need to be used. Consider that even if Gary is totally honest (which I believe him to be) how do you audit your own office OR any agency with which you have contact on a regular basis without an appearance of conflict of interest? Let him outsource it and ride herd on the contract.
I said "possibly" his office has competency issues and that is IF in the movement of and wrongful discharge of funds were federal program funds. Then his office's required federal Single Audit Act audits should have caught it. I have looked at them and while they have a number of exceptions noted for OSDH apparently the Auditor's office felt comfortable enough to not pursue further audit tests that would have caught the funds IF they were federal. They were also comfortable enough to NOT note these items in the CAFR audit leading those who read it to believe the CAFR fairly states Oklahoma's finances. I wonder how true that is now.
Give us the answer to the key question and we will know who, where, when and what. Oklahoma's citizens deserve to know.
Q) Guess who had this information looooong before anyone else(late July/ first of August).
A) Our statewide elected auditor Gary Jones whose job it is to ferret out this type of corruption.
Q) Who did he tell ?
A)No one. Not the governor, not the Oklahoma State Board of Health(governing body), not the Speaker of the House of Representatives , not The President Pro-Tem of the Senate. NO one.
Our auditor, elected by the people of Oklahoma was asleep at the wheel. He is attempting to point the finger at others when the truth is he has been derelict in his duties.
Not only should he resign his current position as state auditor owing to gross incompetence. He should also end his bid to be our future governor which I predict NOW he does in the very near future. It’s time to put this guy(Gary Jones) out to pasture.
Stay tuned. As I remain focused on the mission of fixing the issues at the state dept. of health, there will be more revealed about Gary Jones(the politician) who thinks he is suitable to hold the highest office in state government. What A joke.
Btw… And in case you missed it, I’m not running for any future office. I am here to serve my fellow citizens. That’s all.
The podcast of the Jones radio interview will be posted later this morning.