Note: This article was written by ROBIN READER (612) and was originally published on her website Broken Arrow Forum on September 25, 2010, and reappears here on this blog with her permission.
Audit procedures and standards that seem to be endorsed by the people who want us to think Sherri Combs’ audit is just fine:
– Gathering information before drawing conclusions is optional. Including whatever a few outside people provide you, without researching it, is fine.
– There is no need to include any documents or testimony from people who are directly involved in the issues being reported.
– It’s ok to include hearsay, whether relevant or not; there is no need to provide evidence to back up statements made as fact in the report.
– There is no need to address items listed in the scope of the audit; they can be left out at will.
– Including things that are irrelevant, unsubstantiated, and out of scope is encouraged, because audits are meant to convey impressions, not facts.
– If your supervisor wants you to interview someone and you don’t want to, lie and say they refused.
– Confidentiality laws are stupid, so feel free to provide confidential information to someone outside the auditor’s office who will then provide carefully timed and appropriately slanted “updates” on this confidential information to the media. After all, “the public has a right to know.”
With these audit standards in mind, we can then assume:
– We should all take an audit done in this manner as accurate and factual, despite gaping holes in research, unethical manipulation by outside parties, and obvious and provable inaccuracies and omissions.
– Anybody who thinks an audit should be done objectively, and conclusions should be drawn from facts uncovered rather than on gossip from people with an agenda, is trying to influence the state auditor to protect criminals.
– Any results from the new audit that don’t match the baseless assumptions and unsupported conclusions in the original prove that the new audit is incorrect – regardless of how thoroughly documented the process and evidence are.
Am I understanding this right? Do some people really think Burrage was pressured into doing the WRONG thing – the redo – meaning they think the original audit was done right?
Do these people really think this is a properly conducted audit? If so, it’s pretty clear how their opinions can be so easily influenced. They might try THINKING about things, instead of conducting “smell tests” and seeing if they “feel right” as they like to say.
Or do they think it was improperly conducted but came to the right conclusions anyway, so we should go with it? If so, they can be sure the new audit will come up with the same
conclusions, only the conclusions be proven this time, so they have nothing to worry about! Their point of view will be vindicated all the more, and their hatred can go on
The idea that Burrage will direct his auditors to leave out evidence showing criminal activity in BA Schools is laughable. He has been looking forward to unveiling the Broken Arrow audit, under the assumption that the extent of wrongdoing his office uncovered will make him look good. Not only does he have a strong incentive to expose the crooks, but he also has a powerful reason not to let it look like he is intentionally leaving anything out – he doesn’t want Reynolds to look right in his “watering down” accusation.
Some have suggested that RFR has influence over Burrage; that simply because RFR wants the audit changed, somehow that supplies Burrage with an incentive to falsify it.
What power could RFR possibly wield that would intimidate Burrage into throwing his ethics out the window, betraying his office, forcing his auditors to falsify a report, making his office look incompetent, and risking jail? No, Burrage was convinced by the new information he learned in the meetings with the board members that the audit needed to be redone. Once he realized what needed to be done, no one needed to pressure him.
Why would anybody want to go forward with this dubious report? Why the objections to the redo? Maybe they’re afraid the new audit WON’T come to the same conclusions…because they were never true? Well, they keep saying they want the truth. Can they handle the truth? I know I can, from a properly conducted audit.