Audits look for answers

Audits can't hurt - at least, the kinds of audits that take a critical look at how taxpayers' money is being spent.

Carson City government has an opportunity to audit its own management practices as it seeks to fill the post being vacated by internal auditor Gary Kulikowski.

Keeping an eye on city finances, of course, is necessary. But the idea brought up by supervisors is to hire an outside auditor who could also issue periodic reports on management efficiency.

The presumption is the city could save more than such an audit costs, and we welcome an objective look at how city government operates.

Even more interesting should be the Legislature's examination of the Nevada Department of Transportation.

It's being called an audit, too, but the focus will be on how NDOT decides the priorities for building highway projects.

One of the questions driving this issue came from Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, who wonders how I-580 - a freeway from the Mount Rose Junction to Washoe Valley - becomes more important than finishing the Carson City bypass.

We wonder the same thing, of course, as does anyone who has waited patiently - and will continue to wait for the better part of a decade - for a highway to ease congestion through Carson City.

At the same time, even though it's a bit late in the game, the auditors might wonder why the northern half of the Carson bypass, otherwise known as the freeway to nowhere, is being built prior to the southern half. And why Carson City government is pushing development at the southern intersection of highways 50 and 395, where the bypass won't help traffic congestion at all.

There are several questions from Southern Nevada legislators as well on the timing of highway projects in the Las Vegas area.

Audits don't necessarily mean we'll get answers we like, or that anything will change. At the minimum, though, we can look forward to the questions being asked.


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