Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks released the following statement on the grand jury report and performance audit of the Oklahoma State Department of Health:
“The grand jury report and performance audit findings of mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health are deeply troubling. While there is plenty of blame to go around, ultimately, this problem is a symptom of chronic underfunding of state agencies over the last decade. State agencies are forced to deliver essential services with slashed budgets and personnel who are overworked and underpaid. At the same time, funding for the State Auditor’s office, which is responsible for uncovering waste, fraud, and abuse at state agencies, has been repeatedly cut.
Moving forward, the governor and legislature must work together to properly fund core services, hold state agencies accountable, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are responsibly managed.”