Proposed law would standardize AP audits, crack down on embezzlement in Iowa

A so-called "anti-embezzlement law" is progressing through the Iowa legislature that would alter municipal audit frequency requirements.

As the Quad-City Times explains, the proposed legislation – put forward by Iowa State Auditor David Vaudt's office – would do away with the requirement for municipal audits to be based on population. Instead of being influenced by population numbers, a sliding scale would be developed based on a city's budget.

Under the proposal, cities with budgets of $1 million or more would receive an annual financial audit, while those with smaller budgets would contribute to an annual fund used to "examine" their finances. Examinations would not be as in-depth as accounts payable audits, but would still offer insight into how tax money is being spent.

Representative Dawn Pettengill, a Mount Auburn Republican, spoke out in support of the bill, noting that the possibility of more scrutiny and regular AP audits would spur city officials to be more careful.

Iowa placed fourth in a ranking of states most at risk of losses from major embezzlement cases, according to the 2011 Marquet Report on Embezzlement.

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