Today I posted a report about State Auditor Beth Wood using a state car and not following procedure on reimbursing the state. I did not address the whole question of why we provide cars to elected officials, as well as other state employees, for them to use commuting to work. It is interesting to note that while Wood issued a letter in August about a violation of the commuting policy to another state department, she did not reimburse her own commuting until October.
Also troubling is the attitude state officials take towards waste in state government. In talking to a high ranking official in the Auditor’s office after our report was published, I asked about the fact that apparently there is a widespread problem with “commuting” reimbursement throughout state government. I was informed that in a budget the size of state governments it is not worth the effort to try and fix problems like this! Carrying that idea its logical conclusion the larger the state government gets – the more amount waste is tolerated because it is such a small percentage.
If the people who are inside government believe that waste and fraud are acceptable as long as it stays a “small percent” than that is the best argument for restraining the growth of government I have heard.
A parting question, is anyone else bothered by the fact that Wood is driving a state car with a personal tag on it? It is at the end of the report and is all perfectly legal.