DON’T SAY WE DIDN’T GET FAIR WARNING THAT BIBEN HAS TROUBLE WITH AUDITS
I’ve purposely not blogged in several weeks as the storm and the election made my blogging seem more irrelevant than it usually is. But I think enough time has passed and since JJOKE doesn’t think folks need a break from their attention (compare the common sense blanket extensions the New York City Lobby Commission has granted with JJOKE’s failure to grant any extension) I think I can get back to talking about the hypocrisy that is JJOKE
And being mindful of the fact that the JOKE’s New York City office is still closed and all New York City employees are having to work from home (just a thought but you do have an Albany office you can work from)(just another thought why is there a New York City Office? That’s right all of Biben’s buddies and coworkers live in New York City) I’m going to avoid taking cheap shots at the JOKE.
For example it would be a cheap shot at this time to say that the Governor’s Moreland investigation should be expanded to investigate why Ellen Biben failed to complete the audit of LIPA that was announced with such great fanfare 18 months ago. So I won’t do it.
But I will discuss how badly Biben and her minions are handling audits at JJOKE. That’s fair and unrelated to the tragedy of Sandy and whether New York’s governing bodies have some level of responsibility for the failure to properly regulate LIPA, including responsibility for completing that aforementioned audit that Biben promised us she had the “tools and resources necessary to conduct a swift and thorough audit” of.
You see the same people that were unable to conduct a swift and thorough audit of LIPA 18 months ago are now in charge of auditing lobbyists and clients under the Lobby Act. And while I have empathy for those folks on Long Island that have been affected by the storm and perhaps by Bibens’ failure to conduct a swift and thorough audit of LIPA 18 months ago they are not my clients whereas those being audited by Biben and JJOKE today are.
So what are Biben and her chief economist, Kitty Kay Chan PhD, who presumably was the “tools and resources necessary to conduct a swift and thorough audit” of LIPA 18 months ago doing wrong this time?
Well to begin with they are trying to audit reports filed more than 3 years ago even though the Act says no records are required to be kept for any period of time in excess of three years. Now I don’t begrudge them trying to go beyond their statutory authority, I did it all the time, but once you are told that you are overreaching you should stop, apologize and change your behavior. To the rest of the lobbying community don’t be afraid to tell Biben and the chief economist NO there is no penalty for refusing to cooperate with an audit so there cannot be a penalty for refusing to cooperate with an overbroad audit request. Anymore than there will be a penalty for failing to complete an audit of LIPA for 18 months even after you promised that you had the “tools and resources necessary to conduct a swift and thorough audit”.
What else are Biben and her chief economist, Kitty Kay Chan PhD , who presumably was the “tools and resources necessary to conduct a swift and thorough audit” of LIPA 18 months ago doing wrong this time?
They are trying to require lobbyists and clients to disclose and verify the salaries of support staff. Now this is information that prior versions of the Lobby Commission wrote opinions about saying it was NOT required and prior versions of both the Lobby Commission and the Public Integrity Commission never attempted to audit. So why audit this information now? I’ve been told that the JJOKE auditors do not know and when asked merely state that the chief economist wants the information to comply with GAAP. Someone must have given the chief economist a book about how to properly audit sometime in the last 18 months. I guess it helps to have the “tools and resources necessary to conduct a swift and thorough audit”.
Now I hope to get the opportunity to have a thorough discussion of tools and resources with JJOKE on behalf of a client being audited because there are a lot of things that I’m sure would make for interesting reading on the blog when it comes to Biben, the chief economist and doing audits the right way under the Lobby Act.
Stay tuned hopefully it won’t take 18 months to get the power to shine a light on Biben and audits.