By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Democrat Adam Edelen outlined steps Wednesday he thinks will improve the state auditor’s office he is seeking in the Nov. 8 election.
The steps focus on more public transparency and saving taxpayers’ dollars.
Edelen, former chief of staff for Gov. Steve Beshear, is running for auditor against Republican John T. Kemper III, a Lexington developer.
Kemper said Edelen is adopting parts of his campaign platform, particularly his call for more online transparency of the use of tax dollars.
The state auditor monitors how public money is spent and how public agencies function. The current auditor, Democrat Crit Luallen, is finishing her second term and cannot seek re-election because of term limits.
If elected auditor, Edelen said, he will launch an online site called “Taxpayer Dashboard” to give Kentuckians information to help them evaluate how well tax dollars are spent.
He said he developed similar “dashboards” for Lexington residents when he was vice president of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce.
Edelen said he will urge Kentuckians to get involved as “citizen auditors” to seek more information about the use of tax dollars and to shine more light on financial waste and fraud.
He plans to use public service announcements to inform the public about the “citizen auditors initiative.”
The announcements will not promote him and will not involve tax dollars, said Edelen, expressing hope that media organizations will donate them.
Edelen also said he will:
–Push for legislation to require local and state agencies to publish online all expenses.
–Hold an annual statewide conference with local and state government financial administators to urge more transparency and highlight innovations in their jobs.
–Update the auditor’s website by creating a “Digital SAFE-house” to ensure the anonymity of whistleblowers.
Persons who now want to report suspected fraud and waste in government can e-mail the auditor’s office or call its hotline, Edelen said.
By going online, they can can securely transmit documents providing proof of the fraud or waste they are alleging, he said.
–Set up a system for prioritizing what audits should be conducted.
Annual audits of state and county governments are mandated by state law, but other responsibilities of the office are up to the auditor’s discretion.
Edelen said Luallen “has done a magnificent job in the auditor’s office.
“I would just like to institutionalize her policies with a priority list.”