Montgomery, Ala. – The first training session for State Auditor Jim Zeigler was Tuesday, as he trains to personally conduct field audits of state agencies.
The State Auditor’s staff inventories state property items worth over $500 in 175 state agencies. That totals $1.1 billion in state property.
Zeigler says his budget has been cut 28.5% in the 2 ½ years he has been in office, requiring him to cut his employees from eleven to five.
“We are now current on all state audits, but just barely. When the next cuts go into effect Oct. 1, we will be unable to keep up. That is why I decided to train and add to my other duties the actual field auditing.”
“People had suggested I go to a small, little-known state agency for my training. But the first agency up for a regularly-scheduled audit happened to be the Speaker of the House, so that is where I went first,” Zeigler said Tuesday after finishing the first phase of the audit of the Speaker’s office.
“We were looking for 50 items of state property. We found 49, missing one printer. It may have been moved to another office, so the staff there is looking for it. Hope we can update it to reflect a perfect audit.”
“It took only an hour and 45 minutes to audit the speaker’s offices, which are mostly in the State House. There is also the historic speaker’s office in the state capitol.”
“Speaker Mac McCutcheon came in from Huntsville while we were finishing up the audit, and I talked to him. I had let him know last week that I would be in his offices, and why.”
“We had not anticipated any problems in the Speaker’s offices, and there were not any surprises.”
“I will continue to train with a professional auditor. At some point, I will be on my own and will hit the road by myself. I can make up for one of three auditors that we have lost as my budget was cut.”
In addition to cutting staff, Zeigler says he saved on expenses when he personally declined to take his: State insurance, state vehicle, state laptop, state cell phone, and any expense reimbursement.
“I have not expensed a penny to the state. I simply paid it all myself.”