Oklahomans last November approved a similar change of governance of the state Department of Human Services when they voted to abolish that agency's governing board and replace it with advisory panels. The DHS director now reports to the governor.
Alex Weintz, communications director for the governor, cautioned against placing too much emphasis on the change in Corrections Department governance recommendation from the MGT audit.
“That's one of 141 recommendations in that 2007 audit, and like most of those recommendations, the governor hasn't taken a position on it,” Weintz said. “We are asking for a new audit to take a fresh look at those recommendations, see which are still relevant and productive, and will withhold further comment until that new audit report is released.”
The 2007 audit cost $844,000. Among other things, it said the Corrections Department needed more funding and more employees and suggested that the governor be removed from the pardon and parole process.
Oklahomans voted in November to remove the governor from the parole process for nonviolent offenders — a move that auditors said would save the state money by decreasing growth in the prison population.
Other areas the governor asked the state auditor to examine include:
• The efficiency and effectiveness of management.
• The efficiency and effectiveness of the oversight of the department's operations.
• The reasonableness of the department's expenditures.
• The expenditures of the department's administration for compliance with appropriate state statutes and regulations.
The Corrections Department will pay for the audit.
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We are asking for a new audit to take a fresh look at those recommendations, see which are still relevant and productive, and will withhold further comment until that new audit report is released.”
Communications director for Gov. Mary Fallin