Assemblymember Rodriguez Introduces Legislation To Improve The Accountability Of California Watchdog Agency

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO)-  Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez, Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), introduced today a package of bills to ensure government transparency and workers’ rights at the California State Auditor's Office. The California State Auditor's Office is charged with performing financial and performance audits across state and local government. However, the appointment of the State Auditor has lacked transparency and specific details which Assembly Bill 32 corrects. The bill will require JLAC to select three candidates after conducting a comprehensive search, to be sent to the Governor for consideration. In addition, Assembly Bill 31 extends whistleblower protections to the over 150 employees of the auditor's office.

“The work performed by our State Auditor is essential to the Legislature’s oversight of government operations and programs. The reputation of their work should always remain above question” said Rodriguez. “To better ensure the appointment process serves this vision, I believe the Joint Legislative Audit Committee should take the lead in conducting a more transparent and thorough search for candidates. Additionally, it is also our responsibility to ensure all employees of the state are protected by whistleblower protection laws, which is critical to identifying waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.”

Currently, the law provides that the State Auditor is appointed by the Governor from a list of three qualified individuals nominated by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Traditionally, the three names submitted to the Governor have been the incumbent State Auditor and two of the deputy state auditors. AB 32 states that the Committee shall select three qualified persons after conducting a comprehensive search.

Assemblymember Rodriguez is Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Local Emergency Preparedness, and Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management.  He represents the 52nd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona and portions of unincorporated Fontana.