Legislation at the Capitol would replace the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau with investigative officials at all state agencies.

Representative Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) authored the measure. “What we’re proposing, with the elimination of the audit bureau, to basically break them up and put them as, what we call ‘inspectors general’ into all the agencies.”

Craig said the audit bureau is reactive. By the time an audit is ordered and completed, a lot of time has passed. The Waukesha County Republican said inspectors general would be ensconced in agencies looking for waste, fraud, and abuse. “Our goal there is to help us have a watchdog inside the agencies that can be more proactive when things like waste, fraud, and abuse occur, rather than retrospective, like the audit bureau is.”

Wisconsin passes a $70 billion budget every two years, so Craig said there needs to be more oversight.

Minority Democrats criticized the idea, saying it comes after a second critical audit of Governor Scott Walker’s job creation agency. The audit, fiscal, and reference bureaus operate independently from state agencies. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca say they assure that people get pure facts not “clouded by partisan judgment or political spin.”

Inspectors general would answer to the legislature, and would not report to cabinet secretaries.

AUDIO: (:58) Jackie Johnson report

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