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Oregon agencies may find more watchdogs keeping an eye on them

SALEM -- A dozen large state agencies could find themselves with watchdogs tethered within their ranks, guarding against wasteful spending and questionable government practices.

They’ve been without internal auditors for more than a decade ago, ignoring a mandate that they have such positions. That lack of oversight was highlighted in a recent state audit, and Gov. Kate Brown is budgeting for 14 new internal auditors.

Internal auditors can find tens of thousands in improper or unnecessary spending, fraud or inefficient practices. They can also determine when an agency is operating smoothly, using resources effectively and staying up to date on best practices.

In 2005, the state made that function a matter of law and tasked the state Department of Administrative Services with setting up rules and standards for which agency should have an auditor and what auditors should do.

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