Mushinsky Pushes For Agency Accountability
Advocating for more government transparency and accountability, I testified in support of three proposals before the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE) that would restore governmental oversight.
The legislature’s elimination of the long-standing Program Review and Investigations Committee removed periodic review and in-depth analysis of various state-funded programs and contracted services and there is now a void in expenditure review and this short-sighted decision removed the ability of the legislature to scrutinize expenditures in a bipartisan way.
The measures before the GAE Committee for consideration are:
- Raised House Bill 179, An Act Requiring a Performance Audit of Certain Government Programs;
- Raised House Bill 180, An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts;
- Raised House Bill 5178, An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts and an Annual Review of Each Quasi-Public Agency
All quasi-public agencies should submit copies of contracts to the respective committee and the Attorney General for further reviewing, including large bonuses and separation agreements. We know these have been a controversial issue in the case of higher education institutions, but they are also of concern in quasi-public agencies such as airport authorities.
The State Auditors testified that they did not have sufficient staff to carry out the proposed new assignment. I recommended the committee require the Auditors focus only on the largest contracts as an initial step.