Every Wednesday since November last year we have been bringing you the highlights of the Senate Hearing into the auditor general’s reports. Like last week, we intended to do the same tonight however, today’s hearing was cancelled. That’s because committee members were not able to reach a consensus regarding the three witnesses scheduled to testify today. Those witnesses are members of the audit team, Zelda Hill, Jennifer Myvett, and Shane Reneau. They did show up and like us, they were told that the session was cancelled. Committee members were not able to agree on the usefulness of their testimonies. Chair of the Senate Select Committee, Senator Aldo Salazar, explained.
“The witnesses who were to come from the audit team that carried out the process in compiling the report and we really don’t have consensus that we should really interview those persons as opposed to the auditor general herself who has that constitutional responsibility to answer questions. The analogy has been made similar to say me, I’m an attorney giving a legal opinion and I stand by that opinion I sign it but inevitably we cannot do everything on our own; I have staff who help me with research and then you go around me and question my staff when I am really the person who is responsible I am the professional person for that opinion. So that is where we have that lack of consensus so that is why we didn’t go ahead today. From my part it’s not necessarily a legal issue I would consider it closed.”
“What usefulness did the members of the committee believe the audit members would have provided to the hearings today?”
“I really don’t know. I can’t say. I can only speak for myself I don’t want to get into speaking for anybody else but for my part I would want to hear from the auditor general. The issue is it really the auditor general that should respond the view is on the one hand that the auditor general should properly respond, any questions she is the one who is capable of finding out whatever it needs to be found out from her team as opposed to having individual members of the team speaking about what may have not gotten in the report what should have been in the report. As I’ve said the responsibility for the audit is that of the Auditor General so that is really the question as to whether we should as a committee go behind the Auditor General’s authority; like the analogy I gave you an opinion is given by an attorney that doesn’t mean that he did it on his own he would have had help from his staff and paralegals. Is it proper to then go ask the paralegal what she thought should have been in the opinion of the….”
Senator Salazar said the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley is expected to be called back before the hearing ends.