DES MOINES — State Auditor Rob Sand is giving some of his Des Moines-based staff the opportunity to move to another region of the state.

“As I was looking for ways to increase efficiency in the office, travel costs are a pretty big issue,” Sand says, “so this is an easy way to reduce travel costs.”

About 100 people work for the state auditor and many are already positioned in regions of the state. Sand says about 20 who are currently based in the Des Moines area could be eligible to move outside of a major metro area.

“We work all over the state and if we’re working all over the state, then it would make sense that we have staff all over the state,” Sand says. “I also think it’s important because a few jobs in small towns around the state mean a lot more to those towns than necessarily they do in the Des Moines area.”

Sand doesn’t expect a huge portion of the 20 employees in the Des Moines area to relocate.

“But every little bit counts and it’s a good thing for our clients because it reduces costs for them and it’s a good thing for taxpayers and our office because if we can reduce turnover, we’re going to operate more efficiently,” Sand says.

If a Des Moines-based employee chooses to move to another region of the state, Sand will assign them to work on audits within a 60-mile radius of their new home base.

“We surveyed our employees a few months ago,” Sand says, “and about 10 percent of the people in our (Des Moines) office were interested in immediately relocating to places like Reinbeck and Elkader.”

Sand says the policy may also be attractive when he’s hiring new employees who may be recent college graduates who want to return to their hometown.