LEGISLATIVE PEER COMMITTEE SAYS BRYANT HASN’T DONE HIS JOB
JACKSON- Over the past two weeks, revelations about Auditor Phil Bryant’s failure to provide accountability at the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi has tripped up his bid for the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor. But that’s not the only gap in Bryant’s record that is drawing scrutiny.
On Monday, conservative Sen. Charlie Ross’ campaign called attention to a bipartisan PEER review committee report from December 2006 that exposed serious questions about Bryant’s performance.
“According to the PEER Committee, Phil Bryant has a lot to answer for,” Ross spokesman Josh Blades said. “He’s not been performing the audits he’s supposed to perform, just like he never tried to audit the Partnership.”
Over the course of the next couple of days, the Ross campaign will highlight a number of the PEER Committee’s findings.
The following focuses on Bryant’s mismanagement of state resources.
Phil Bryant often says that the Auditor’s office doesn’t have enough funds, but Bryant is performing Audits that he is not required to perform, while letting his statutory responsibilities slide.
Of the audits Bryant actually performed, 57% were not required by state law. He left much of the heavy lifting to outside accountants who have charged taxpayers millions of dollars. -PEER Report to the State Legislature, Page 39
The PEER Committee said that this “duplicates efforts” and said it “reduced the amount of time and staffing available to conduct fixed asset audits of state agencies, which are specifically required by law.” –PEER Report to the State Legislature, Page 40
Ensuring municipalities are filing audits is one of the jobs he is required by law to do. The independent PEER committee report states that “the department did not take action to ensure municipalities’ compliance with requirements for filing audit or compilation reports.” — PEER Report to the Legislature, Page 63
In fact, in 2004, he only ensured compliance for 16% of municipalities, leaving 84% of his work simply not done.-PEER Report to the State Legislature, Page 63
Bryant also has left an average of about $1.4 million of his budget unspent over the past three years, but he is still asking for more money.
“With a record like this Phil Bryant doesn’t deserve a promotion,” Blades concluded.
More to come on Phil Bryant’s job performance record.
The full report can be downloaded at: http://www.peer.state.ms.us/reports/rpt495.pdf
Charlie Ross Campaign Release