House Republicans submit budget amendment to safeguard Auditor General investigative powers from abuse
Providence, RI – Today House Republicans submitted oversight provisions in response to new investigatory powers provided to the Auditor General in the FY20 budget.
The amendment adds language that directs the Auditor General to seek approval from the Joint Committee on Legislative Services (JCLS) prior to commencing any investigation, inspection or review; that a majority of the five member committee must approve the investigation; and that the Auditor General’s request must include the nature of the investigation and the individual or department affected. To protect confidentiality, the committee may review in executive session.
“This is a ‘good government’ amendment. In adding this language to the new investigative duties of the Auditor General, we are providing oversight, checks and balances to prevent investigative abuses down the line.” said Representative Brian C. Newberry. “Sometimes the investigation becomes the punishment, so we want to ensure that any investigation is opened only for a good and proper purpose. Having the JCLS monitor investigatory activities provides an important protection for all involved.”
The JCLS oversees legislative state departments and is responsible for the overall financial and administrative functions of the Rhode Island General Assembly. The Speaker of the House serves as Chair. Members of the committee include the House Majority Leader, House Minority Leader, Senate President, who serves as Vice Chair, and the Senate Minority Leader.
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