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Auditors saved Nevada $59M in 2 years

CARSON CITY — Legislative auditors saved Nevada government a total of $59 million over the last two years, conducting 24 audits during the period that accounted for about one-quarter of the total savings, an Assembly committee heard Wednesday.

The remainder reflects savings realized in 2017-18 as the result of earlier audits, auditor Rocky Cooper told the Assembly Ways & Means committee in presenting the audit division’s two-year summary report.

The division audits state agencies on costs, compliance, performance and procedures. It prepares draft reports of findings, recommends changes and issues a final report that incorporates the agency’s response and a timetable for corrective action.

Among 140 recommendations auditors issued with a six-month timetable for correction, 130 have been fully implemented, Cooper told the Ways & Means panel. The committee’s oversight of agency budgets, he said, is the “teeth in the process” that insures agency compliance with the audit division’s findings.

“I’ve frequently been asked, well, where’s the hammer to implement these recommendations, and it really can rest with this committee,” Cooper said.

Audit division reports in 2017-18, in some cases covering periods dating back several years, found provider overpayments and filthy conditions in state-funded homes for the mentally ill; provider overpayments by the Aging and Disability Services Division; overpayments to Health and Human Services director grantees; unspent class-size reduction funds that were not properly returned to the state; and uncollected user fees at state parks.

“This is a very valuable document that you can go back to as you go through the session and look at some of the previous issues that agencies have,” said Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, the committee chair. “We do like to keep an eye on them through the interim, when we can.”

Contact Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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