Today’s Toledo Blade editorial raised an interesting question about Mary Taylor’s audit of the Ohio Lottery Commission: if it’s doing so well, as her performance audit found, then why should it adopt the strategies of States whose privatized lottery commissions are not run as well as Ohio’s?
State Auditor Mary Taylor’s decision to conduct a performance audit of the Ohio Lottery Commission made some people scratch their heads. Her findings, released this week, may have them tearing out their hair.
[A]lmost everything the audit had to say about the lottery was positive. Yet Ms. Taylor still managed to conclude that its performance could be improved if the lottery were allowed to act more like a business – in other words, if it had less government oversight and control.
That seems to be a stretch. Indeed, recommendations as stretched as these often result when conclusions have to be shaped to match a desired result.
Instead of Ohio following the lead of other states, perhaps those states should ask how the Ohio Lottery has managed to keep its bureaucracy so lean that a thorough audit could find only $2 million in potential savings.
Remember, Mary Taylor announced that she was doing this audit only two weeks before John Kasich announced that she would be his running mate. So, it’s highly likely that Taylor already knew she was likely to be the running mate when she announced her decision to do this audit.
The report, issued by her office, adopts John Kasich’s solution to everything—remove government oversight and safeguards and privatize, privatize, privatize.
But Taylor’s audit makes a poor case for privatization. It points to no actual factual findings that a privatized Ohio Lottery would delivery the same results (or better) at a cheaper costs. Quite the contrary. Taylor’s audit compared Ohio to privatized lotteries, and her office didn’t find they performed any better or even the same than Ohio.