Small Business Board fails state audit

A state board established more than a decade ago to give small businesses greater input on government regulations is “plagued with issues that have undermined its effectiveness,” Missouri state auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday, giving the board the lowest performance rating possible in an audit.

In the report, Galloway said the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board, established in 2004, was, “not functional and is not achieving its primary objective of monitoring regulations that impact small businesses.”

The audit found deficiencies in internal controls, noncompliance with legal provisions and deficiencies resulting from certain management practices and procedures.

“The findings of this audit are very concerning. Our business community relies this board to help protect small businesses from excess regulation,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In a response included in the audit, the board said it welcomed the results of the audit and said it hoped the report would spur outside sources, including the Department of Economic Development, which was implicated in its failure to help the board and to keep functions like the public comment system online, to help it correct the issues.

Because of the “poor” rating, auditors will conduct a follow-up review next year.

Read more: Springfield News-Leader, Missouri Times, Missourinet

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