TRANSPARENCY, BANK ON TOP COMPTROLLER MENDOZA'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Efforts to increase government transparency for taxpayers and stabilize the state’s bill backlog, as well as an initiative to encourage more people to use banks instead of predatory lenders, top this year’s accomplishments at the Illinois Office of Comptroller.
“As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, it’s clear that continued upgrades to our information technology systems in the comptroller’s office will remain a priority,” Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza said. “Up-to-date, user-friendly systems enable us to respond to taxpayers’ needs, root out bad actors and bring even more transparency to state government.”
The top accomplishments of the Illinois Office of Comptroller in 2019 include:
- Contractors’ milestone reports – State tech contractors must now report how they are spending state money under reforms passed to prevent the spending and procurement abuses identified in a 118-page special audit of the Illinois employee benefit management system, which was outsourced under the Rauner administration.
- Stability – The Comptroller continued to manage the state’s bill backlog and prioritize payments to human service providers, pensions and debt service. Stabilizing the backlog is key to convincing bond houses that Illinois remains a worthy investment.
- Bank On – Legislators and the governor approved the Comptroller’s Bank On Illinois initiative to steer consumers away from predatory lenders and offer them better tools to save for the future. The program is expected to get off the ground in 2020.
- MCO transparency – Comptroller Mendoza toured numerous Illinois hospitals in 2019 to learn first-hand of the consequences of managed care organizations (MCOs) delaying or denying medical coverage. She worked with state lawmakers and other stakeholders to successfully incorporate greater MCO transparency requirements into law.
- Fiscal Focus – The office relaunched Fiscal Focus, a periodical published by the Illinois Office of Comptroller that provides important fiscal facts about Illinois and in-depth articles about timely state issues.
- Prevailing wage – Through an executive order, Comptroller Mendoza reaffirmed her office’s commitment to monitor state contracts for compliance with the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, including grants awarded for the new $45 billion Rebuild Illinois construction program and other public works programs.
- Uncovered fraud – The Illinois Office of Comptroller worked with Randolph County authorities to prosecute a mortuary director who failed to deposit funds from customers who purchased pre-need funeral services.
- Hired first CIO – The Comptroller’s office hired its first chief information officer, charged with quarterbacking Comptroller Mendoza’s Transparency Revolution that is making far more information about state finances available to Illinois taxpayers.
- Recovered $50.7 million for taxpayers – The office assisted in recovering more than $50.7 million in outstanding debt for 450 local governments around Illinois.
- Public accountability – The office unveiled a new user-friendly web transparency tool that allows taxpayers and policymakers to track the annual progress and performance of hundreds of state programs, while also saving taxpayer dollars. The Public Accountability Report details the revenues, spending and program goals provided by nearly 80 state agencies.