Columbus – State Representative Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) today announced that House Bill 384 was unanimously approved by the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. 

The legislation, which Schaffer co-authored with Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington), seeks to grant the Auditor of State the authority to conduct performance audits on state colleges and universities. A performance audit can be used to improve operations, identify cost savings and produce sustainable, balanced budgets.

“I want to be clear that this effort is not in reaction to any sort of corruption; the majority of our higher education administrators are good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Schaffer said. “There is always room for improved efficiency and our goal is to give our colleges and universities the tools to get the most out of every tax dollar.”

Other states such as Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, and North Dakota have conducted higher education performance audits. The findings of the performance audits will provide recommendations to the institutions on how to improve operations, but the institutions have the discretion on implementation.

In 2011, Schaffer also sponsored Senate Bill 4, which required performance audits of state agencies. Since the bill became law, performance audits of state agencies have recommended $95.9 million in savings, with an average return on investment of $33 for every dollar spent.

“Performance audits of state colleges and universities will bring to light the best operators in the state and allow others to emulate their best practices,” Schaffer added.

House Bill 384 will now await a vote on the House floor.

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