Legislation would clarify Auditor General’s access of electronic and confidential data

Categories: Steven Johnson News

State Rep. Steve Johnson’s bill that clarifies the constitutional authority of the Auditor General to access and examine electronically stored information and confidential information in the course of an audit has passed the House.

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) is tasked under the Michigan Constitution to conduct financial and performance audits of all state government operations. Current law states that state government departments and agencies “shall produce for examination all books, records, and documents….” Over the years, some have questioned whether this authority extends to confidential and electronic records. This at times can hinder the Auditor General from accessing vital information needed to conduct constitutionally required audits.

“We’re making sure the Auditor General’s Office has every tool at its disposal to properly and thoroughly fulfill their objective of holding state government accountable to Michigan taxpayers,” said Johnson, R-Wayland. “Despite not having access to all the information it may need to conduct performance audits of all state agency operations, the OAG still pumps out commendable – and valuable – work. This plan will lead to even more comprehensive audits in the future, and signifies to the OAG the Legislature has its back.”

House Bill 4336 passed the House with strong bipartisan support and has been referred to the Senate Oversight Committee for further consideration.