State Controller John Chiang Tuesday directed his office to conduct a financial audit of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. CIRM was created by the 2004 ballot measure that authorized $3 billion of general obligation bonds to finance medical research using stem cells.Chiang announced the audit at the annual meeting of the institute’s citizens financial accountability oversight committee, which reviews and verifies the accuracy of the CIRM’s annual independent audit and provides recommendations on the institute’s financial practices and performance.“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. “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.”

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