SOS’s office says it is working to ‘navigate outdated bureaucratic policies’

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks on May 8, 2024 to the Buckhead Rotary Club in Atlanta. GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger | Facebook

(The Center Square) — The Georgia Secretary of State’s office said in response to a new state audit that it is trying to “navigate outdated bureaucratic policies.”

“The secretary of state’s office applauds the integrity of its staff who work hard every day to navigate outdated bureaucratic policies and redundancies in order to get the government out of the way so that hardworking Georgians can thrive,” Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in a Tuesday statement.

The comment follows a June audit of federal elections grants that, in part, found further “action is needed to ensure federal reporting and inventory requirements are met.” The recently released examination from the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts followed up a March 2022 review exploring Help America Vote Act grants.

When asked if it disagreed with the audit, an office spokesman pointed to one sentence from the audit the agency agreed with: “Since our 2022 report, the Office of the Secretary of State has taken steps to address findings related to compliance with state purchasing requirements and federal grant requirements.” The spokesman did not clarify if the office disagreed with the rest of the audit.

The audit found the office “has taken steps to improve its federal grant compliance, but additional actions are needed. SOS now uploads supporting documentation associated with purchased goods and services into the state financial system. SOS also hired additional personnel to assist with grant administration.

“While SOS has not consistently submitted progress and financial reports to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission by the required due date since the original audit, there were no reports outstanding as of May 2024,” the audit concluded. “Finally, once state funds become available, SOS reported its plans to implement a new inventory tracking system as well as manually audit voting system equipment.”

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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