A proposal in the Alabama State House would do away with the Alabama Auditor’s Office and transfer its duties to the Alabama Examiners of Public Accounts Department.
The auditor’s position is created in the Alabama Constitution, so abolishing it would have to be approved by voters through a constitutional amendment.
With voter approval, Senate Bill 83 from Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Gadsden, would shutter the office when Auditor Jim Zeigler’s current term ends in 2022.
“As Republicans, we’re all about downsizing government and being more efficient with taxpayer resources,” Jones told Alabama Daily News. “It’s a very simple bill that I think could save some taxpayer dollars and we could use those to fund some other things that are important, like mental health and prisons.”
Zeigler hadn’t seen the bill last week, he said.
“Usually, if you’re going to file a bill to abolish someone’s office, you send them a copy of it and talk to them about it,” he said. “That hasn’t happened.”
He’s against combining the office’s work with another department.
The auditor’s office reports to the governor on receipts and disbursement of revenues collected and paid into the treasury. It’s also responsible for the accounting of state property costing $500 or more.
The examiner’s office can audit the books, accounts and records of all state and county offices, officers, bureaus, boards, commissions, corporations, departments and agencies, and report on expenditures, contracts or other audit findings found to be in violation of law.
The auditor’s office was appropriated $928,000 out of the General Fund this fiscal year. In 2017, there were a total of nine people in the office, according to State Personnel Department information.
Jones’ bill went before the Government Affairs Committee on Tuesday, but a vote was delayed.
Rep. Scott Stadthagen, R-Hartselle, will carry the bill in the House, Jones said.