Members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission – the state's public utilities regulatory body – recently recommended introducing regular accounts payable audits of the agency's finances, according to Forbes.
The OCC handles hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and taxes related to public utilities, railroads, trucking, and the oil and natural gas industry.
"We're responsible for a lot of funds," said commissioner Dana Murphy, who chairs the three-member commission, as quoted by the news source.
Murphy's colleague, commissioner Bob Anthony, noted that the agency's role has metamorphosed over the years from that of a regulator to a collector and payment processor as well, resulting in it receiving and disbursing large amounts of money.
"We have enormous cash flows going on," he said, as quoted by Forbes.
The commissioners urged state auditor Gary Jones to begin conducting regular AP audits of the agency. According to Jones, the first step is a performance audit to gauge which financial controls are needed.
Although no instances of misappropriation or embezzlement have been discovered within the agency, former internal auditors for the Commissioners of the Land Office and the Oklahoma Treasurer's Office both recently faced criminal charges. Conducting an external AP audit is an additional precaution against corruption.