Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill: Capital Outlay

Details Still Forthcoming on Executive Order for Accountability Governor’s Executive Order.

On January 24, 2007, the Governor signed an executive order with the intent of increasing governmental accountability and public information about the use of the November 2006 bonds. The Governor’s executive order focuses on three main areas.

Public Web Site. The DOF is required to develop and maintain a Web site that contains information provided by each department; including:

Laudable Purpose. As described elsewhere in this write-up, the goal of the executive order—to increase accountability and transparency—is commendable. The emphasis on measuring a program’s performance would assist the Legislature in its efforts to ensure that programs are meeting their stated purpose. Similarly, an up-to-date Web site would provide the Legislature and the public much of the information we recommend that departments provide.

Many Implementation Questions. At the time this analysis was prepared,
the administration could not provide many implementation details about the executive order. If implemented strategically, the order could increase the effectiveness of the bond program. If, however, the order is implemented uniformly without regard for specific programs and their existing accountability measures, it could create an unnecessary level of paperwork that slows projects down while increasing costs.

Additional Resources? To date, the administration has not identified how many additional audits it will seek above those already scheduled occur. The development of a useful Web site may require a substantial investment of time and money by DOF. Assuming that these activities would be funded from the bond proceeds, they would reduce the amount available for projects. As such, the Legislature will want to balance accountability and transparency with timely delivery of infrastructure projects.

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