National State Auditors Association applauds Megan's Law special report
HARRISBURG, Pa., July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, the Department of the Auditor General has been recognized for its excellence in accountability of state government programs by the National State Auditors Association.
This year, the Department of the Auditor General received the 2011 "Excellence in Accountability Award" for its special report of the accuracy and usefulness of the state's sex-offender registry website, known as the Pennsylvania Megan's Law website.
The "Excellence in Accountability Award" recognizes state auditing agencies for promoting effective management in state government programs and innovative thinking in the auditing environment of state government. The award was presented to the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General at the association's annual conference, which took place June 15-17 in Williamsburg, Va.
The Megan's Law special report determined that the website was seriously inadequate – giving it an overall letter grade of "C-" – and offering 13 recommendations for improvement. On Jan. 5, 2011, six months after the report was released, the Pennsylvania State Police unveiled website changes which addressed 11 of the report's 13 recommendations. One of the remaining two recommendations requires legislation, and such a bill recently passed the House and now awaits Senate action. The remaining recommendation does not require legislation, and the Department of the Auditor General will continue to press the Pennsylvania State Police for implementation of the one remaining recommendation. The revised Megan's Law website can be viewed at www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.
"It is a great honor to receive such an award," Auditor General Jack Wagner said. "The fact that this special report can have a direct positive impact on the safety of Pennsylvania residents and that the report has received honorary recognition from a national organization whose mission encompasses improving state government operations is wholeheartedly fulfilling. I am extremely proud of this report and of the important work performed by employees of the Department of the Auditor General to benefit Pennsylvania taxpayers."
Wagner also commended the Pennsylvania state police commander and his team for cooperation on the implementation of the majority of the report's recommendations.
In 2010, the Department of the Auditor General received the NSAA "Excellence in Accountability Award" for the large performance audit category, for its audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's Special Allowance Program which provides cash assistance to cover expenses for incidentals like textbooks, supplies, equipment or tools, clothing, and child care for welfare recipients seeking employment to become self-sufficient and move from the welfare rolls to sustainable work.
The NSAA "Excellence in Accountability Awards" are issued annually in three categories: Small Performance Audits; Large Performance Audits, and Special Projects. Only NSAA member offices may participate in the competition, and only audit reports issued and special projects completed during the last two calendar years are accepted entries.
NSAA encourages and provides opportunities for the free exchange of information and ideas between auditors on the state, federal and local levels and was organized in 1979 as an associate of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers. NASACT was founded in 1915 to allow principal state officials concerned with financial management to gather annually and discuss problems and issues of mutual interest. NASACT's mission is to assist state leaders in enhancing and promoting effective and efficient management of government resources.
Auditor General Jack Wagner is responsible for ensuring that all state money is spent legally and properly. He is the commonwealth's elected independent fiscal watchdog, conducting financial audits, performance audits and special investigations. The Department of the Auditor General conducts thousands of audits each year. To learn more about the Department of the Auditor General, taxpayers are encouraged to visit the department's website at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us.
Contact: Steve Halvonik 717 787-1381
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General