Monday, February 26, 2007

Performance Audit of CIRM Expected This Week

The spirit of Deborah Ortiz will be with the California stem cell agency this week when the California state auditor unveils its performance audit of the $3 billion enterprise.

It was Ortiz, former chair of the State Senate Health Committee, who sought the audit last year before she was forced out of office because of term limits.

The audit was intense. At times, four auditors over a period of four months prowled through the agency. That amounted to one auditor for every four CIRM employees, a ratio that probably was not surpassed in even such celebrated cases as Enron or Worldcom.

CIRM certainly does not remotely resemble either of those two infamous operations, but the state auditor is likely to come up with some critical findings. Such is almost invariably the case in its work, and no agency is perfect. In fact, CIRM has already made changes in travel and contracting policies that reflect issues that auditors identified. But critics of the agency are likely to find some grist for their mills.

The audit could be released as early as Tuesday. Sphere: Related Content

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