The man most responsible for scrutinizing how taxpayer money is spent in Vermont is Doug Hoffer, state auditor since 2013.
With a B.A. in political science from Williams College and a J.D. from the SUNY Buffalo Law School, Hoffer started his career in the 1980s coordinating projects for then-Mayor Bernie Sanders at Burlington’s Community Economic Development Office.
From 1993 to 2013 he worked as an independent policy analyst, and his clients included state auditor Ed Flannigan, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Peace and Justice Center, the state treasurer, the Vermont State Employees Association, the City of Burlington, Burlington Electric Department and more.
In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Hoffer on how to hold state government accountable.
In the course of the discussion, he breaks down the process for selecting which departments get audited, how his staff follows up on violations, and what time and resources go into an audit.
He gets into some of the unique twists and challenges he must deal with, such as what kind of whistle-blower protection personnel get when bringing forth sensitive information. He also discusses the challenges and limitations of “performance audits,” which determine if an entity is doing its job well or needs improvement.
Watch full episode: