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Governor, Auditor weigh in on bill limiting IA auditor's office access to some information

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Iowa's watchdog, Auditor Rob Sand is hoping Governor Reynolds veto's the bill, which limits what private information his office is allowed access to.

However, Gov. Reynolds defends the bill in an Iowa PBS interview, when she said she believes Sand has already taken cases too far.

I think there are several [cases] out there," Gov. Reynolds said. "Ya know, the constitution states that there shall be an Auditor of State and it's the legislature's responsibility to set what those duties are. This doesn't limit his access to information but it does say that information, that he's curious about, he doesn't have access to that.

Reynolds didn't give specifics on exactly when she believes the auditor has gone too far, but Sand says he's just doing his job.

"I've uncovered more waste, fraud and abuse in my first term than anyone had before," Auditor Sand said. "Is that going too far? It's waste, fraud and abuse. We should want to uncover every penny of it."

If signed, the Auditors Office won't be able to turn to the courts to settle disputes over what information they should have access to.

Instead, three people will be in charge of making that decision including someone from the agency being audited, the Auditors Office and someone Governor Reynolds appoints.

"For the first place to go, to go to the courts to have an executive branch agencies competing against each other, it's, the tax payers have to pay for it twice and I just don't think it's unreasonable that we can't come to some resolution through the arbitration process," Gov. Reynolds said.

However, Sand doesn't feel the process will benefit taxpayers.

But it's important to have an independent court decide what the right answer is on the law instead of having one of the interested parties, the very same people who are being audited, allowing them to decide what the auditor can look at is a recipe for disaster," Auditor Sand said.
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Governor Reynolds is expected to sign the bill, and Auditor Sand said, if that happens, his office will continue to do its job and inform the public if there are documents they're being denied access to.

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