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    Law expands powers of auditor’s office

    State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump announced yesterday that Governor Deval Patrick has signed legislation granting her the authority to audit the use of state money by subcontractors to private organizations that provide services with taxpayer money. Before Patrick signed the bill, Bump was able to audit the use of state funds awarded to private contractors, but lacked the authority to investigate spending by subcontractors. Support for the “follow the money bill’’ grew after Bump released a critical audit of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative, based in Billerica.