The cost of a full audit each year for a checkoff program is expensive. Savings to the commodity checkoffs can be realized by going to a full audit every other year without sacrificing transparency and accountability. Proposed legislation streamlines all of the checkoff legislation to be consistent in regards to publishing of disbursements.
- Proposed legislation would require a full audit to be conducted at least every two years instead of every year. A financial statement would be required each year.
- When the full audit is conducted, it would still review the previous year in which an audit was not done. The savings is realized by not having required the resources and staff of an accounting firm to conduct a full audit each year, but rather every other year.
- The responsible organizations for the checkoff programs can still conduct a full audit annually.
- Doing an audit every other year is the same requirement that state agencies comply with from Alabama's Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.
Checkoff programs are important to Alabama's farmersand have been supported by them for many years. Producers fund these checkoff programs and have the option to be reimbursed if they do not want to participate. Funding is used for research, promotion and education. Alabama has legislation that allows for the establishment of state checkoffs for catfish, cattle, cotton, eggs, grain, nuts/bulbs/fruits & vegetables, pork, sheep & goat, shrimp & seafood, and soybeans. Although they are permitted, not all of these are operating as state checkoffs. Some of these commodities, such as pork and soybeans, have federal checkoffs. The beef cattle commodity has both a state and federal checkoff.
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