SACRAMENTO — Improved government accountability and transparency were the focus of several bills that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Wednesday.
One directs the Department of Finance to guide monitors of state agencies to ensure they are independent and objective in scrutinizing agency operations. State agencies have been required to have independent monitors keeping an eye on accounting and administrative practices since 2011.
Assembly member Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) said his bill, AB 117, would help flesh out the role such monitors play.
"If you've got a thousand agencies and a thousand individuals sitting in the bowels of these agencies and they have no training, and no clear explanation of who they report to, that's worthless," Cooley said.
He said the need for strong monitors was underscored by the recent accounting scandal at the California parks department, in which officials concealed nearly $54 million in surplus funds.