Letter: Real oversight needed at secretary of state’s office

Published: 10/7/2018 12:01:14 AM

It is concerning that our deputy secretary of state is writing political op-eds (Monitor Opinion, Oct. 2) that attempt to obscure the lack of independent financial accountability for his office, rather than taking responsibility for it.

David Scanlan claims that the serious conclusions of the last state audit of his office should be dismissed because it is 11 years old – but he noticeably doesn’t welcome an audit now, as secretary of state candidate Colin Van Ostern just called for.

Scanlan also claimed a separate 2015 federal audit (which looked only at Help America Vote Act funding) supported his office’s “proper use of the funds” – but, in fact, a quick Google search shows the actual conclusions were the opposite. That audit states the secretary of state “did not have accounting procedures in place to efficiently record, report, and monitor financial activity and ensure compliance with provisions of the Help America Vote Act.”

Media reports at the time summed it up this way: “Oversight agency faults how N.H. accounts for federal election money.”

Misleading statements to defend his boss, Bill Gardner, simply underline the point he is denying: It’s time for sunlight and accountability in that office.

Having an “open-door policy” is not a substitute for comprehensive and professional oversight.



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