New State Auditor Pledges Public Information Transparency

Jan 28, 2019

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The new state auditor, Kristi Racines, promises to bring better transparency to the state's expenditures.

The role of the auditor's office is to keep the state government accountable by publicizing financial records. The auditor has to keep certain records private, like payments to citizens receiving government benefits.

Racines, who was elected in November, is looking to improve the accessibility of the information that is public.

"It's clear that we need a better method for getting our state expenditure data out to the public. Most of the discussion surrounding that involves putting it online," said Racines.

The auditor's office has faced scrutiny in the past. Critics say it is unusually difficult to request financial information from the state.

Last year, an article in Forbes accused the Wyoming Auditor's Office of charging high fees and being slow to disclose public information. The Center for Public Integrity ranks Wyoming 49th in transparency in the U.S. and 40th in internal auditing. Racines hopes to change that.

"I just want folks to know that I remain absolutely committed to having a lot integrity in the way our state books are kept, and just making sure that that duty above all is done well and done correctly," Racines said.

However, in an editorial in the Casper Star Tribune last summer, previous state auditor Cynthia Cloud said the transparency issues can be blamed on budget shortfalls.