Claremore Daily Progress

Community News

August 22, 2012

Auditor Jones addresses Rotary

CLAREMORE — By his own admission, Gary Jones has spent much of his adult life seeking to expand the accountability of elected officials and improving the delivery of government services. 

Since taking over as Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector, Jones has been busy doing just that, most notably, in getting the state caught up on audit reports of Oklahoma counties.
“When I first took over (as state auditor) in 2010, we had only 10 counties (in Oklahoma) in compliance, with some counties not having been audited or inspected since 2005,” Jones told members of the Rotary Club of Claremore.
Jones was guest speaker at the Tuesday meeting. 
“The problem with a county being out of compliance, aside from the obvious, is that once it’s out of compliance, it tends to stay out of compliance until it’s audited and the inconsistencies (of non-compliance) are brought to its attention.
“This being the case, when I took over (as state auditor), we had some counties in the state that had been out of compliance for three, four, five years or more,” he said. “Since that time, our office has done upwards of 150 audits, and Oklahoma now has 55 counties in compliance.”
However, getting caught up in audits was no easy task.
“When I first took over, I put a team together to gather information about exactly how far behind we were (in county audits and inspections),” he said. “We sat down and took a good hard look at how the state had gotten so far behind (in audits), and I can tell you that there were a few problems (then) at the auditor’s office.
“We also discovered was that for years, the state auditor’s office would prepare the financial statements for the counties and then audit them,” he said. 
“I can tell you they usually found nothing or little wrong on the counties for whom they were preparing the financial statements.

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