Legislative Audit Committee: Approves Audit of State IT Systems

For further information, contact:

Senator Carol Roessler

(608) 266-5300

Representative Suzanne Jeskewitz

(608) 266-3796

(Madison)… In an executive session held today, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, co-chaired by Senator Carol Roessler (R-Oshkosh) and Representative Suzanne Jeskewitz (R-Menomonee Falls), directed the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau to initiate an audit of information technology (IT) systems projects in state agencies. Based on reports of questionable outcomes and high cost, Senator Roessler and Representative Jeskewitz, joined by committee member Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), called for the audit information technology system contract management statewide.

“IT systems are essential for managing and delivering effective government services in today’s world,” stated Roessler. “The State cannot afford high cost overruns and the complexity of contracting for these costly systems to become an excuse for diminishing accountability and oversight.”

In calling for the audit, the legislators cited four examples of troubled IT system contracts at the University of Wisconsin System, the State Elections Board, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Revenue. In conducting the audit, the independent Legislative Audit Bureau will determine the specific projects to be included as case studies in the final audit report. The audit will also inventory IT projects throughout state government, identifying project budget and scope, start date, and expected completion date. The audit will also assess whether recently completed projects were completed on-time and on-budget.

“The efforts of the Legislative Audit Bureau to create an inventory of IT projects throughout the executive branch will create a meaningful baseline against which we can measure the State’s progress in achieving the intended outcomes from each project,” said Jeskewitz. “If the audit confirms our suspicions that most projects are not completed on a timely or cost-effective basis, we simply must do more to ensure effective use of taxpayer dollars.”

The Committee also approved audits of wetland permitting and mitigation programs administered by the Department of Natural Resources, and chronic wasting disease eradication efforts.

An audit scope memorandum, prepared by the Legislative Audit Bureau, describes the parameters of each approved audit. Copies of each memorandum are available on the Legislative Audit Bureau’s website at www.legis.state.wi.us/lab.