Auditor general would examine legislature’s expenses, under Freeman bill

HARRISBURG, April 30 – The state auditor general would be required to audit the General Assembly’s expenses and its legislative services agencies annually, under legislation introduced by state Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton.

“We need to have greater transparency and more accountability as to how the legislature spends taxpayers’ money,” Freeman said. "An outside, unbiased auditor, such as the state’s auditor general, should be reviewing our expenses and issuing a report instead of a company that we pay to perform an internal audit on ourselves.”

The General Assembly currently is audited by a certified public accountant hired by the Legislative Audit Advisory Commission.

Freeman said Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has offered his department’s services to leaders of the Senate and House to help increase openness.

“We continually talk of financial transparency, so this is a chance for us to open the books and reveal just how taxpayers’ money is being spent by the legislature,” Freeman said.

Freeman said the legislation is being introduced as both a bill and an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to address any concerns regarding the constitutionality of having an executive branch office audit the legislature’s finances.

Completed copies of the audits would be available to the public.

The bills, H.B. 1360 and H.B. 1361, are expected to be referred to the House State Government Committee.