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W.Va. Auditor’s website to allow residents to monitor, question state spending in almost real time

West Virginia Press Association

Staff Report

West Virginia State Auditor John “JB” McCuskey talks with West Virginia Press Association Executive Director Don Smith during a segment of “InSight.”

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the state on the eve of one of the largest highway spending programs in state history, the West Virginia Auditor’s office is nearing the launch of new programs on its website — — that will give all residents the ability to monitor that state spending.

West Virginia Auditor J.B. McCuskey, appearing on state newspaper industry’s new weekly video program — West Virginia Press Insight — said the website and new programs allows his office to meet its obligation to ensure such public information is available to all residents.

“The enemy of any Democracy is an uneducated electorate” is one of McCuskey’s favorite statements.

Since being elected, the Auditor has spent time during the first year improving the public’s access to government spending information through his office.

“Part of the auditor’s job, in my opinion, and it is part of my duty to ensure that every citizen has access to how their money is being spent. The money that comes into the Capitol is never the Government’s money. It’s always the people’s money,” McCuskey said. “What we have undertaken is to establish the best public transparency website in the country. I believe we have accomplished that. We’re going to be rolling that out to the public within the next three weeks.”


West Virginia citizens will be able to go the website and, in a Google search-like environment, track government spending in almost real time, McCuskey said. Citizens with questions about that spending will also find contact information for state agencies. The website will also allow citizens to run reports and charts and work with legislators on spending plans.


“The program was developed by OpenGov,” McCuskey said, adding it’s a company — — that is an industry leader. “They are led by John Chambers, who is a West Virginia native.”


McCuskey said serving two terms as a state delegate before being elected as auditor, helped him understand how the Legislature works and what legislators needed to do their job properly.


Speaking of the current legislative session, McCuskey said he is also supporting a bill — based on government transparency legislation originally proposed by Delegate Kelly Sobonya, R-Cabell— that addresses fraud, accountability and transparency in government operations and contracts.


The bill would codify his office’s website and ensure state agencies have to provide information in a certain format that would be accessible by the public. It would also allow his office to aid state prosecutors in battling fraud across West Virginia.


In talking about the auditor’s office, McCuskey encourages citizens visit the office’s website at


“The auditor’s office is sort of an enigma to a lot of people …” said McCuskey.

“We have several main divisions. A large part of our office is ensuring that all of the state spending that is done, is legal and according to an appropriation. We have people who go through the line items in the budget, basically, every dollar that is spent, and make sure it was spent legally and appropriately. “


“The Chief Inspectors Division (CID)…, they are in charge of auditing the cities and counties of the state,” McCuskey said, noting his office also audits other agencies such as library boards and solid waste authorities, basically any body spending public monies.


“We’re in charge of selling delinquent properties,” he said. “Our office performs the auctions for taxes that have gone delinquent.”


Funds from those tax auctions, McCuskey explained, go to help funds schools.


McCuskey also discussed a program that allows WVU students to help cities and counties with audits, saving the local governments money and giving the students on-the-job experience.


See the entire program at



The fourth episode of West Virginia Press Insight noted the West Virginia newspaper industry’s loss of two longtime friends earlier this month.


Julianne Kemp worked as a reporter and editor at the Charleston Daily Mail for more than a half-century, watching her section evolve from “Society” to “Women” to “Lifestyles.” Also a New York trained ballet dancer who worked with the Charleston Ballet for decades, Kemp was remembered as warm, funny and incredibly dedicated to her newspaper craft. Julianne Kemp was 87.


The West Virginia Press Association also lost a longtime supporter in Harris LeFew. LeFew was a longtime communications professional with Westvaco, living in Maryland just across from Mineral County. LeFew was a regular attendee at the West Virginia Press Association annual convention and served as a trustee on the West Virginia Press Foundation Board of Directors. Harris LeFew was 88.




The new video program also featured the following stories:


WV pharmacies dispensed fewer painkillers: and-other-powerful-drugs/article_c8756a55-8cac-5618-9f86-2e0e990d0e72.html

Proposed West Virginia Senate bill pushes technical education:

Legalized sports betting bill working its way through WV legislature:

WV legislation allowing timbering in state parks sparks debate:


WV schools discuss sustainable living:

WV counties ready for influx of pipeline workers:

Poll reveals West Virginia opinion on politics, opioids and more

WVU’s job accommodation network receives $12.7 million funding renewal:













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