A state senator Monday called for the state auditor to examine the Colorado Lottery's "grossly unacceptable" performance and "systemic pattern of distracted management."
Sen. Steve King, vice chairman of the legislative audit committee, also said he plans to file a bill taking lottery oversight and management away from the state revenue department.
"I want to do all the research and see what other states are doing, but I think I will find an independent commission is in the best interests of the citizens," said King, a Grand Junction Republican.
After the lottery was criticized in a 2003 state audit for excessive spending and conflicts of interest, the legislature passed a bill transferring much of the lottery commission's power to revenue.
"However, the lottery has now operated with that structure under three governors, at least three revenue directors and at least three lottery directors without apparent repair or even improvement," King wrote to State Auditor Dianne Ray.
Ray's office is wrapping up its five-year performance audit report on the lottery. She said she will take King's request to the legislative audit committee, which would decide in October whether to move forward on a new audit.
Revenue spokeswoman Daria Serna said the department is "always responsive to all questions and requests for information" from the auditor. "We will continue to do so as we always have."
The Post reported Sunday that the lottery's award of a $62 million contract to an overseas company raised questions about whether the state's selection process was fair and whether the lottery is being mismanaged.
King's letter to Ray says that audit reports over the years show "instance after instance of failure after failure" by the lottery, leading to questions concerning its supervision and management.
One of the auditors' primary findings: From 2007 to 2012, operating revenues went up nearly 20 percent, while disbursements to beneficiaries including the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund rose just 3 percent.