Chapman launches campaign to locate government waste

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 22, 2003

State Auditor Beth Chapman launched a Campaign for Accountability recently, asking Alabama citizens to get involved in stopping government waste.

She announced she will reinstate the use of a toll free telephone number, implement a statewide email blitz, create a special website and begin a series of public service announcements (PSA) to encourage and promote citizens’ involvement in their government.

Chapman said the PSAs will be produced, the website created and the emails sent at no expense to the taxpayers of the state.

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Chapman said many times her office receive complaints that do not fall within her jurisdiction, but that each one is taken seriously, responded to in a timely fashion and referred to the proper agency.

&uot;In the State Auditor’s office, we do our best to get a handle on the waste, but there are state employees and taxpayers that see it first hand every day,&uot; Chapman said. &uot;We want them to let us know about it so we can do everything within our power to stop it.&uot;

Chapman said she does not have prosecuting power but will report the abuse to authorities that do.

&uot;The people want accountability now more than ever, and that’s what my staff and I are prepared to give them,&uot; she said.

Chapman added her own office is not immune from inspection.

The toll free telephone number has been in service for more than a decade, but she says the public does not even know about it.

&uot;The fact that no one knows about the watts line to report government waste is just one of many examples of government waste itself,&uot; Chapman said. &uot;This campaign is not about using, increasing, or decreasing your tax dollars.

It’s about protecting your tax dollars in the investments already made via the millions of dollars of state property purchased.&uot;

It’s about protecting the taxpayer’s money.

&uot;The Campaign for Accountability is about protecting every single dime that people send to Montgomery,&uot; she said.

&uot;I have a simple philosophy that I follow in my home, that my parents taught me long ago: we don’t spend what we don’t have, we don’t buy what we don’t need, and we take care of what we own. This should be true in state government too.&uot;

To report specific government waste, call 1-800-Hit-Waste (1-800-448-9278), or visit