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Auditor General Jack Wagner Officially Notifies LCB of Intent to Audit Performance of Malfunctioning Wine Kiosks
HARRISBURG, (Jan. 4, 2011) – As a follow up to his announcement on Dec. 22, Auditor General Jack Wagner recently outlined the objectives of his department’s special performance audit of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s wine kiosks program in a hand-delivered letter to Patrick J. Stapleton, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Wagner’s letter, dated December 30, said that auditors will focus on the contracting for the kiosks, as well as on the malfunctioning and current closing of the kiosks. Wagner, however, noted that the objectives and scope may be adjusted over the course of the audit as necessary, in accordance with government auditing standards. The Liquor Control Board shut down the operation of the wine kiosks, citing mechanical and technological issues on Dec. 21, and indicated that the kiosks would reopen in early 2011.
“This audit has been given the highest priority and we expect this engagement to be a constructive one whereby all entities work together to identify and report problems, concerns, and solutions related to our audit objectives,” Wagner said. “Taxpayers deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent appropriately and that programs are meeting their intended purposes.”
Wagner said that the audit will cover the period of Jan. 1, 2008, through the end of field work, as necessary. He has set a goal of completing the audit by the end of the first quarter of 2011, but added that the target can be met only through the Liquor Control Board’s cooperation with auditors.
The Liquor Control Board launched the kiosk program last June and at present has 49 kiosks installed in Pennsylvania supermarkets. Shoppers can purchase wine by scanning their driver’s license and passing a Breathalyzer test.
Simple Brands LP of Conshohocken holds the wine kiosks contract, and was the only company to respond to the Liquor Control Board’s 2008 request for proposals.
The wine kiosks were brought online in Pennsylvania with the promise of delivering customer convenience and the generation of additional revenue for the state.
The Department of the Auditor General is required by state law to audit the Liquor Control Board, which operates 625 retail stores throughout the commonwealth and is the largest purchaser of wine and spirits in the United States.
The Department of the Auditor General is the state’s independent fiscal watchdog and is responsible for making sure that tax dollars are spent efficiently, effectively, and for their intended purpose.
Auditor General Jack Wagner is responsible for ensuring that all state money is spent legally and properly. He is the commonwealth’s elected independent fiscal watchdog, conducting financial audits, performance audits, and special investigations. The Department of the Auditor General conducts thousands of audits each year. To learn more about the Department of the Auditor General, taxpayers are encouraged to visit the department’s website at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us.
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