Speaker rejects Auditor's push to audit the Mass. Legislature
In response to Auditor Diana DiZoglio's announcement that she plans to audit the state Legislature, the House's legal counsel said Friday afternoon that the state constitution "explicitly and repeatedly prohibits" the action.
"That your office has the legal authority to conduct an audit of the General Court is a claim entirely without legal support or precedent, as it runs contrary to multiple, explicit provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution, and is wholly unnecessary as the public currently has full and ready access to the House's financial information," Speaker of the House Ron Mariano wrote in a letter addressed to DiZoglio.
Mariano writes that he "respectfully denied" DiZoglio's attempt to audit the body, and says that the suggestion that she has the authority to do so "violates basic separation of powers principles that the Supreme Judicial Court has called 'fundamental... to our form of government.' "
The state auditor's governing statute says the office must audit the "accounts, programs, activities and functions" of "all departments, offices, commissions, institutions and activities of the commonwealth, including those of districts and authorities created by the general court."
The same section also gives the state Superior Court "jurisdiction to enforce the production of records that the department requires to be produced pursuant to this section, and the court shall order the production of all such records within the scope of any such audit."