Governor's office now complying with auditor's push to track COVID-19 funding

3 months 1 day 22 hours ago Wednesday, May 13 2020 May 13, 2020 Wednesday, May 13, 2020 12:44:00 PM CDT May 13, 2020 in News
By: Greta Serrin, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - State departments are now cooperating with Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway after she pushed for transparency with COVID-19 relief funds.

"Two weeks ago, the Governor claimed I didn't have the authority to ask questions or access information on behalf of Missouri taxpayers," Auditor Galloway said in a news release. "Meanwhile, his departments have been answering my audit team's inquiries and complying with requests for additional information."

Galloway sent a letter on April 7 to every state agency and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) about the funding agencies were receiving for the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 22, the Governor's office wrote back refusing to provide details on plans for state departments related to COVID-19 relief funds.

Galloway responded on April 27 in a news release, "Under Article IV, Section 13 of the Missouri Constitution, the State Auditor has a duty to ensure the accuracy of the state's accounting of its spending. Per Section 29.130, RSMo, the office 'shall have free access to all offices of this state for the inspection of such books, accounts and papers.'"

On Wednesday, Galloway said state government departments are now cooperating.

Last week, Galloway launched a transparency portal to track COVID-19 response spending by the state of Missouri.

According to the portal, as of Wednesday, the state has received a total of $2.3 billion for relief funding. So far, $752 million has been spent by the entire state.

Boone County has spent $21.1 million of COVID-19 relief funding.

Galloway is continuing to conduct oversight on funds spent by state departments and local agencies.

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