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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/109

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FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON 101 tion expenses, as a tool in securing control of surplus state funds for private gain. 1 An interesting episode in the history of the financing of th state treasurer's office took place in the early seventies. The state constitution had fixed the treasurer's salary at eight hundred dollars and had provided further that there should be no "fees or perquisites whatever for the performance of any duties connected" with any of the state offices. At the first session of the state legislature "the act to regulate the Treasury Department" provided "a private secretary" for the governor and an assistant to the secretary of state, allowing each a salary of four hundred dollars. The state treasurer was left without aid until 1870, when the office of "Assistant Treasurer of State" was created. The "joker" in this meas- ure is found in the provision for the compensation for the services of this assistant treasurer. For this purpose the state treasurer was to have one-half per cent of all moneys received and one-half per cent "of all disbursements made by him." As the treasurer had the power of appointing his as- sistant it is natural to suppose that he would see to it that the difference between his own salary of $800 and the com- pensation provided for his clerk would be "equitably adjusted.'* This means of drawing compensation from the public funds was cut off through the repeal of the law providing for the "Assistant Treasurer of State" in 1874. 2 More surreptitious devices had again to be resorted to that the office of the state treasurer might yield a respectable income. Oregon's State Auditing The Plan and Hozv It Has Worked. The features in simplest form of a state Auditing system that might be fairly effective in conserving public funds would include: (1) Adequate provision for enforcing the turning into the state treasury of all receipts of state money from whatsoever source taxes, sale of public property, pay- iSee history of relations between state treasurer and Title Guarantee and Trust Company, given in public press of Oregon, 1907. 2 This law netted the treasurer during the four years, $13,543.20. Report of Commissioners of Investigation, p. 196.