Utah State Auditor John Dougall announced Tuesday that he was not seeking reelection, holding to an original campaign platform that three terms was enough for the state auditor. First taking office as auditor in 2012, Dougall’s current term ends on Jan. 5, 2025.

“While I continue to have passion for our mission, I believe in the importance of new perspectives to tackle new problems. Term limits are critical for accountability,” he said in Tuesday’s announcement, “whether statutorily or self-imposed. Now is the time for a new leader to share a vision for a better future.”

During his time as the state auditor, Dougall focused on transparency in government, making in-depth financial information available for “essentially every state and local entity in Utah,” he said. His office also focused on strengthening privacy protections for individuals and finally, on identifying waste, fraud and abuse, and increasing government compliance with statutory obligations.

In 2021, Dougall’s office audited the $6.74 billion in federal funds that came to Utah as part of COVID-19 relief funds. His statement about the audit blasted the federal government:

“The magnitude of the ongoing federal subsidy is troubling, due to Congress’ complete disregard for any sense of fiscal responsibility, the increasing dependence of state and local governments on federal subsidies, and the heightened economic and inflationary reactions from the magnitude of irresponsible federal spending. We anticipate the State will continue to experience increased dependency on federal money over the next five to 10 years as federal stimulus money continues to be sent to the State for multiple programs. I urge caution as state leaders navigate the challenges that come with increased demands for ongoing spending built on one-time money.”

According to a Deseret News article at the time, the 2021 audit found that the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget did not have “adequate federal grant management experience” before receiving Coronavirus Relief Fund money, resulting in insufficient internal controls over compliance.

In the last 11 years, Dougall’s office also found that Utah law enforcement agencies needed to do a better job of keeping track of the “mountain of evidence” they collect every year, that there were “improper” travel expenses and bonuses under Utah’s former agriculture boss, and weaknesses in the security of Utah’s driver license database.

Last summer, Dougall released a new interactive website to allow property owners to look up what the government says their property is worth. Earlier, his office completely overhauled the Transparent Utah website, giving Utah residents easier access to a variety of government-related information, including Project KIDS, which Dougall says “allows taxpayers and administrators to see where money goes within Utah’s system of public education, allowing stakeholders to better determine how well that money was spent.”

Prior to his election as auditor in 2012, Dougall served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives. In 2020, he ran as the lieutenant governor candidate with gubernatorial candidate Aimee Winder Newton.

He is rumored to be looking at running for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate.

Holly Richardson is the editor of Utah Policy