January 9th, 2023 

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484 

Applauds LAB’s Work Over the Past Two-Years 

Releases Statement of the Publication of LAB’s Biennial Report

GREEN BAY– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement on the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s (LAB) recently published Biennial Report (Report 23-1) which summarizes its work in calendar years 2021 and 2022: 

“The biennial report serves as both a summation of the audit activity and findings of the previous two-years and an overview of topics which will continue to be implemented by agencies and considered by the Legislature moving forward. This report is also the perfect reference for the hard work, time, and effort that LAB has put in over the past two-years to help control waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in state government – work which I’ve helped to direct and oversee as Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. 

“From testing compliance with federal requirements in the expenditure of $37.4 billion to evaluating the management and position of state trust funds to examining the administration of Wisconsin’s elections and so much more, LAB’s work is nationally-renowned among their peers and typically exceptionally well regarded in our state. LAB’s work is also a key part of the Legislature’s defense against out-of-control government spending, inefficient state programs, unaccountable bureaucratic agencies, and noncompliance with the law. 

“Recognizing the need for independent, nonpartisan, and accurate analysis of state government, Wisconsin led the nation more than a half century ago in creating a service agency dedicated towards protecting Wisconsin taxpayers. The 49 published reports over the past two-years, combined with the hundreds that came before 2021 and the countless more than will come in 2023 and beyond, continue to provide a roadmap to shape state policies and keep the Legislature informed on the efficiency of state programs and finances. 

“But the publishing of a report is just the first step in the process as it’s on the Legislature to take LAB’s important, unbiased findings and recommendations and turn that into action. As we kick-off the 2023-24 Legislative Session, it’s my hope that my colleagues, both in the Legislature and sitting at the helm of state agencies, will not attempt to inhibit nor discredit the work of the LAB. 

“LAB will continue to provide a true reflection of the condition of our state government’s finances and programs to enhance accountability and transparency for all Wisconsinites – but only if we continue respecting the long-standing tradition of removing our partisan lens from their work.”