I am committed to government transparency. As a 10-year Representative in the Legislature, I co-sponsored the legislation that resulted in Utah's Financial Transparency website (transparent.utah.gov). Using this website, citizens can easily find information about all levels of Utah State government. The Financial Transparency website discloses how state and local governments spend the public's money. In contrast, the Office of the Utah State Auditor's website still provides reports in PDF-formatted files, a static, unsearchable format, that's not user-friendly for most Utahns. I believe it's time for the State Auditor's office to enter the 21st century and provide useful, online data about the true state of the State.
As Utah's next State Auditor, I commit to improve public access and usability to the annual financial reports and audit information of the state for the citizens of our State, just like I did while in the Legislature! I will champion the use of technology to improve financial oversight and performance accountability. When government is necessary, the citizens who consent to be governed must be able to see and understand exactly what government is doing and why.
My education background and experience have prepared me for this challenge. I earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Electrical Engineering and then an MBA, all from BYU. This means that I can read and understand an accountant's assessment, and then oversee the conversion of "audit-speak" to information that is useful and relevant to Utah's citizens and I have the technical experience to make it available to citizens.
The State of Utah was recently awarded a B+ in transparency by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and I believe Utah can and should do better!
As the Deseret News reported, "Residents' ability to track government spending online helps reduce waste, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group .Once Utah's transparency website revealed the state was spending $294,000 on bottled water each year, the annual expense dropped to about $85,000." The Deseret News further noted that the B+ rating was up from a C the previous year, and I am proud of the role of this legislation to create Utah's Financial Transparency website played in this improvement in transparency and fiscal responsibility in Utah. If elected as State Auditor, I'll keep focused on this issue!