Lansing, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Representative John Roth (R-Interlochen) has joined the growing list of representatives in support of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) which faces massive funding losses in Governor Whitmer’s latest budget proposal.

Rep. Roth pledged his support for the OAG as it faces potential budget cuts from the Democrat majority. He highlighted that after the 2020 election, Auditor General Doug Ringler’s feedback to help legislators preparing audit requests was praised by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for the OAG’s “professionalism and accuracy.”

Recent OAG Audit reveals Unemployment Insurance Agency gave millions to unqualified candidates.

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Between January 2020 and October 2022, the OAG found that there was likely more than $245 million given out to unqualified candidates by the UIA.

According to the auditor general, there remains time to fix the situation as the “three-year window for UIA to address fraudulent payments excludes cases of suspected identity theft, and therefore, UIA could still take action on these claims.”

The audit has led to a number of legislators calling for reform to the UIA.

OAG Finds Michigan Liquor Control Commission Has “Accounting Failures” Totaling Nearly $1 million.

An audit from the OAG found the Michigan Liquor Control Commission had more than 62,000 state-owned bottles of liquor unaccounted for, roughly 20% of the total inventory.

Within the report, the OAG found that the MLCC should “improve interface controls to ensure audit logs are complete and cover a sufficient time period and reconciliation procedures are consistently performed.”

Ringler also underscored in a letter to MLCC Chair Kristin Beltzer that the Michigan Compiled Laws will determine the next steps for the MLCC, which will be responsible for developing a plan to comply with the recommendations and to submit it to the State Budget Office upon completion of an audit.

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For the Auditor General report and recommendations, see here.

Rep. Roth Pushes Back on Democrats for actions towards OAG.

Democrats are dubbing Ringler as partisan for just doing his job according to Rep. Roth.

“Someone forgot to tell Michigan Democrats that complete control of state government doesn’t mean that everyone in a position of power is required to do their bidding,” said Roth, R-Interlochen. “The auditor general is the perfect example of an official who puts politics aside and looks at the facts. All the OAG does is consider legitimate concerns regarding state agencies, request documents from the agencies in question, and make determinations based on the available facts. Nothing about that office is partisan.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recommended a more than $8 million cut to the OAG funding in her budget proposal, which the OAG responded by explaining that the 28% funding reduction would damage the OAG’s ability to fulfill audit requirements and could even put federal funding at risk.

“We received no advance notice of the executive budget reductions and no direct feedback regarding the reason behind them,” Ringler wrote.

Rep. Roth also criticized the governor’s intentions by cutting funding to the OAG.

“Instead of accepting that problems exist within her own administration, the governor would rather take shots at the OAG in the press and threaten it through her budget recommendations,” Roth said. “Luckily, the people of Michigan are smarter than the governor realizes. People back home have been loud and clear. They want me to do everything I can to defend the OAG so it can continue its important work of exposing government corruption.”