Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pork barrel project abuse revealed.

Capital outlay, spending tax dollars on infrastructure, is where
you find "pork barrel" projects, wikilink.

It is also where you will find a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse.

To their credit, though long overdue, the Legislative Finance Committee is doing some snooping around; some spot auditing; they're not auditing all spending, just some representative samples. The results point to the need to audit all spending.

Recently, they audited school spending, link. Not surprisingly they found huge problems.

More recently, they spot audited capital outlay spending, and, according to a Journal report, found the same thing;

"Poor record-keeping, errors in reporting expenditures and unforeseen project costs continue to plague New Mexico's capital outlay spending, says a report by the Legislative Finance Committee."
It is nearly a statistical impossibility that the spot checks are flukes, that they don't accurately reflect spending in general. In general, our tax dollars are being wasted in utterly inexcusable amounts.

The only ray of hope, according to Journal capital bureau reporter Dan Boyd;
To remedy the problem, the LFC report suggested creating a committee to oversee capital outlay spending, setting up a division within state government to monitor such appropriations and establishing a special fund to pay for capital outlay audits.
Which begs a few questions;
  1. Why is there not already legislative oversight over capital spending?
  2. Why is there not already, a division within state government to monitor appropriations? and
  3. Why is there not already, a special fund for capital outlay audits?
No mention in the report, that the Legislative Finance Committee, or anyone else, is fighting for funding for the State Auditor's Office.

The State Auditor Hector Balderas states repeatedly,
if he had the resources he needs, he can audit waste, fraud,
and abuse out of existence.

Nobody seems to want to hear him.

photo Mark Bralley

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nd yet Richardson announced he wants to cut Balderas' office's budget.
Wow! How fortuitous is that for Richardson? ..even less accountability for spending, theft and waste, during a sour economy.
We put up with a lot here in NM...too much. We should have recalled Richardson when the california scandal was revealed during Obama's vetting process!