Report: Independent commission didn’t allow independent auditing

As reported by –

The top internal auditor for a state agency that has a say in your electric bill might have had to choose between keeping a job and telling the honest-to-goodness truth.
The chief internal auditor of the State Corporation Commission has been reporting to the chief administrative officer, instead of directly to the agency’s three General Assembly-appointed commissioners.
The arrangement sets up a potential conflict of interest, a new audit from the Auditor of Public Accounts says.
The chief internal auditor, meant to operate as independently as possible, could have risked putting his job on the line to report any administrative failings to his boss, or the chief administrative officer could have left out embarrassing details.
“A lack of organizational independence could lead to management pressures affecting the objectivity of the commission’s chief internal auditor,” an audit from the state Auditor of Public Accounts, which regularly reviews state agencies, said. “As a result of the chief internal auditor only reporting to management, its assessments of management may appear to be influenced by this relationship.”
That needs to change, the state auditor said.
“The commission should establish a reporting line between the chief internal auditor and the commissioners for conducting risk assessments, establishing work plans, and issuing audit reports to protect the auditor’s objectivity,” the state audit noted.
The SCC commissioners told the Auditor of Public Accounts they’ve already changed.
By Kathryn Watson |, Virginia Bureau

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