OKLAHOMA CITY – After winning the gubernatorial election in November, Governor Kevin Stitt said one of his main priorities was to foster more accountability within state agencies.
“We can only guarantee such accountability when state agencies understand that they exist to serve – and to answer to the people of Oklahoma. We need to change how Oklahoma’s 400 agencies and commissions are comprised. Our current system gives agencies too much independence from the voter. They have the ability to ignore executive orders, skirt around laws passed by the legislature, hide pockets of money and protect their own interests by hiring lobbyists,” Stitt said during his inauguration.
On Thursday, Stitt announced that he had submitted a request for an audit of the finances of the Information Services Division of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
“We expect all state agencies to be accountable to Oklahoma taxpayers,” said Stitt. “OMES is no exception. We have every reason to believe that OMES has unmet funding needs for the Information Services Division, as noted in the agency’s supplemental budget request. At the same time, as we have spent the first two months of our administration digging into ISD’s finances, we believe that an outside-in view of the division’s budgeting, billing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable processes will help us better understand the inherited cash-flow issues and how we can make permanent improvements.”
The scope of the audit is expected to include reviews of the processes used to estimate cash flow, performance audits of the agency’s billing and accounts receivable processes and a performance audit of the accountable payable process.
“The agency submitted a request for roughly $23 million in supplemental funds last October,” said COO John Budd, who also has served as OMES Director since January. “Since our new administration arrived on Inauguration Day in January, we have further examined the numbers and have reduced that request by about one-third. We are continuing to look for efficiencies. Every additional day our team spends trying to explain a situation the new administration inherited is a day we are not focused on making service better for other State Agencies and the citizens of Oklahoma. The State Auditor’s team will do an exceptional job of assessing OMES’s processes and history, and we welcome their involvement in delivering a better, more efficient state agency.”