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Governor's Office Audit Notes Staffing Issues, Missing Equipment

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    As politicians statewide discuss the best strategies for putting Illinoisans back to work, it would appear there are plenty of opportunities right at the state level.

    A report from the Illinois Auditor General finds that over a third of the state’s boards and commissions do not have the required number of members, and that inadequate staffing may keep those boards from doing their jobs.  The report took Governor Pat Quinn to task for failing to fill the open positions on those boards.

    That same report said computer equipment is missing from the Governor’s office.  But a spokesman for the governor said none of those items contained sensitive data.

    The compliance audit of the office of the Office of the Governor found that the Quinn has failed to make required appointments to state boards to fill vacancies, and that 20 of 55 boards (36%) did not have adequate staffing.  Among those, the Department of Corrections Advisory Board had four vacancies, the Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities had eight open spots, and there were four vacancies on the Regulations and Site Remediation Advisory Committee.

    “Failure to appoint members to boards, commission, councils, or committees may prevent the board, committee, council, or commissions from carrying out their mandated duties,” the report said.  But the authors seemed to give the Governor’s office the benefit of the doubt, saying they believe the Office of Executive Appointments “strives to maintain compliance”, and that intense vetting of candidates may be a reason for the lengthy vacancies.

    A spokesman for Quinn, Dave Blanchette, said many of the vacancies had been filled since the audit was performed.

    “The Governor’s office has taken historic steps to consolidate and increase effectiveness of state boards and commissions,” Blanchette said in a statement.  He noted that since taking office, Quinn actually eliminated dozens of state boards.

    “All vacancies on the Department of Corrections Advisory Board have been filled,” he said.

    The audit also found that Quinn’s office could not locate 7 pieces of computer equipment “consisting of 3 laptops, 3 hard drives, and 1 server, totaling $4,308 and reported missing on…discrepancy reports in Fiscal Year 2013 and 2012.”  The report said that although some of the data was encrypted, the Office could not determine what type of information was stored on the other computer equipment.”

    Blanchette said the equipment in question had been purchased in 1999, and was used until 2008, “when the items were wiped clean of all data per protocol and taken to a Springfield warehouse to await being surplused.”

    Blanchette said the items could not be found during an inventory conducted three years later by the Governor’s office.