Auditor’s Office Releases Report on Benefits of an Inspector General in Governor’s Office

May 7, 2024

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi should consider funding an Inspector General (IG) for the Governor’s office according to a new report from State Auditor Shad White.

“My office audits state funds, and that means we are often just doing autopsies—looking at a broken government program and trying to answer what went wrong after a bunch of taxpayer funds were stolen or misspent,” said White. “Mississippi could consider adding an Inspector General to the Governor’s staff to help prevent fraud schemes from happening before big money is paid out. That’s something I cannot do.”

There are currently nine statewide Offices of Inspector General around the country, and these offices have already seen major success at stopping potential fraud. Last year, for example, the IG in the state of Georgia managed to put an end to a nonprofit CEO’s scheme to claim over $800,000 in fraudulent reimbursements for providing meals meant for low-income children that were never given out. As a result of this investigation from Georgia’s IG, the state managed to prevent over $800,000 of taxpayer money from being taken.

“The idea of the IG in Mississippi first arose in the early ‘90s when Governor Fordice signed an executive order creating the position,” added White. “Our report lays out some of the IG’s responsibilities if the Legislature wanted to actually fund that position in the Governor’s office, creating another good watchdog for taxpayer money.”

The report details several recommendations for the Legislature, including granting subpoena power to the IG and making the position appointable/removable by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

To read the full report, visit the Auditor’s website and search “Inspector” under the “Reports” tab.