by Steven Ertelt
November 28, 2007
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — California Controller John Chiang announced on Tuesday that he plans to conduct a financial audit of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the panel state voters created to distribute grants for human cloning and embryonic stem cell research. Pro-life groups have challenged the group’s financial standing since its creation.
Chiang made the announcement at a meeting of the Institute’s citizens oversight committee, which reviews the accuracy of the stem cell research panel’s independent audit.
In comments he made in association with the financial review announcement, Chiang talked about the latest actions of the panel, according to a East Bay Business Times report.
"Considering the Institute has already made grants to 23 research agencies and the treasurer has sold $250 million in bonds for additional research, it is imperative that the research financing move forward in an ethical and transparent manner," Chiang said.
He added: "Immediate action is necessary to guarantee the Institute is effectively overseeing grants, and that grant recipients are using state funds appropriately and in a manner consistent with the stem cell initiative."
The audit will cover conformance with state law and the stem cell research committee’s internal standards to determine if they are adequate.
Meanwhile, Chiang also sent a letter to the Fair Political Practices Commission, the Times reported.
The letter alleges that a member of the panel’s oversight committee violated the conflict of interest rules that pro-life groups long contended caused members of the panel itself had violated.