Today, a more low-key Phil Bryant of Brandon holds the post. Bryant is running for lieutenant governor.
From the outset, Bryant, a Republican appointed in 1996 and re-elected in 1999 and 2003, made clear that his intent was to quietly perform the functions of the job, which are: auditing all state agencies, county governments, school districts, etc., investigating abuses, and prescribing systems of accounting and financial reporting.
But in addition to catching officials with sticky fingers, the position can provide leadership in government efficiency and accountability. For example, Bryant helped bring more accountability on economic development projects after the failed $52 million Mississippi Beef Processors debacle.