Wisconsin’s attorney general says the state Government Accountability Board does not have to release information about investigations conducted by the agency, and that has one lawmaker worried there may be a lack of accountability.
An opinion from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen states that the GAB is prohibited under state law from releasing confidential information about its investigations to state auditors. State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), who requested an audit of the agency that’s currently underway, says that raises some major concerns about the ability of the Legislative Audit Bureau to do its work and could be “problematic” in the future.
Lazich says it’s essential that lawmakers have access to all information about a state agency’s practices and finances, so they know how their decisions will impact its operations. She notes that the Legislative Audit Bureau has handled sensitive information from several other agencies in the past, and “we’ve never, to the best of my knowledge, ever had a problem with the Audit Bureau dealing inappropriately with sensitive information.”
The New Berlin Republican says it’s an issue lawmakers may want to revisit when they return to the Capitol next year.