Q&A: Candidates for Auditor | Election Voter Guide | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published September 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

Doug Hoffer and Richard "Rick" Morton - COURTESY
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  • Doug Hoffer and Richard "Rick" Morton

Making sure the government is spending our tax dollars effectively falls to the state auditor. Doug Hoffer, the current auditor — first elected in 2012 — is running for reelection. Here are his answers to our candidate questionnaire, alongside those of his rival, Richard "Rick" Morton.

Doug Hoffer

Age: 71
Town of residence: Burlington
Occupation: State auditor
Party affiliation: Democrat/Progressive
Website: HofferForAuditor.com

What will be your top priority in office?

Priorities are unchanged: to conduct performance audits and investigations that inform the legislative discourse about matters of policy and identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of state government. Continuing areas of interest include health care and economic development, both of which suffer from a lack of quantifiable results.

What more can the Auditor's Office do to help the state eliminate waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds?

We've identified millions in potential savings, avoided costs and enhanced revenue. Here are a few: health care — state spending and OneCare All Payer; business incentives; contracting; ski area leases; capital projects; lake cleanup. To achieve these outcomes, the administration and legislature must act. I have no control over that.

Richard "Rick" Morton

Age: 74
Town of residence: Brattleboro
Occupation: Retired bank compliance/security officer; part-time chaplain at an assisted living facility
Party affiliation: Republican
Website: Morton4VTSenate.com — Morton is also running for State Senate in Windham County

What will be your top priority in office?

Equally address all branches (executive, legislative and judicial) and levels of government (municipal, state and federal interactions) and government contracts. Review history of required audits and prioritize discretionary audits looking for gaps that need attention. Address election integrity concerns.

What more can the Auditor's Office do to help the state eliminate waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds?

Revitalize whistleblower processes and protections. Update and/or establish PERKs (Pre-Exam Request Kits) to be used by audit targets prior to on-site or remote audits in developing risk assessments. Look at more than financial outcomes but also process documentation and internal controls of targeted entities.