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AUDITOR GENERAL HAFER RESPONDS TO EFFORTS TO RESTORE 13 LCB HEARING EXAMINERS

 AUDITOR GENERAL HAFER RESPONDS TO EFFORTS
 TO RESTORE 13 LCB HEARING EXAMINERS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Auditor General Barbara Hafer today released the following statement regarding the House vote on Jan. 29, 1992, which would reinstate 13 Liquor Control Board hearing examiners whose jobs were scheduled to be eliminated on June 30, 1992.
 "I call on the Senate to reject the action taken by the House. I am most disappointed that this legislation passed the House, but firmly believe that the Senate will be successful in preventing the reinstatement of these 13 positions which cost the state more than $650,000 annually," Hafer said.
 "More than a year ago, the House voted decisively to abolish these positions. Last week, by the same decisive margin, they voted to reinstate them. I must ask -- why have they changed their views? Reinstating these positions is just another example of the failure to control spending.
 "An audit released by my department in September 1990 revealed that the full-time employment of 13 hearing examiners is not justified by their current workload. It also indicated that the examiners, whose jobs had been mandated by the legislature, averaged less than one hearing a month between November 1, 1987, and October 20, 1989," Hafer added.
 These hearing examiners are attorneys with private law practices, and the LCB has acknowledged that they are underutilized. Their cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers is more than $50,000 a year each in salary and benefits.
 "My audits serve as blueprints for cost-effective fiscal management. They identify wasteful spending practices which must be eliminated from state government -- especially now when the Commonwealth is mired in serious financial straits," Hafer concluded.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/4/92
 /Editors: Copies of the audit referred to in this release may be obtained by calling the contact./
 /CONTACT: Ed Halpern or Steve Schell of the Auditor General's Office, 717-787-1381, or 717-787-4486/ CO: Department of the Auditor General; Liquor Control Board ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


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Date:Feb 4, 1992
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