(Juneau) - The Alaska House today unanimously passed a bill to ensure that public funds are being best spent by the State's various departments and agencies. House Bill 30 calls for each department to be reviewed once every ten years to make sure they are complying with their missions, core values, upholding their constitutional duty, and aren't being duplicative.
HB 30 forces the legislature and administration to refocus on each agency to decide whether the money being spent is necessary and what's not.
~ Rep. Mike Chenault
Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, sponsored the bill, which passed the House during the first session of the 27th Legislature as House Bill 166. The bill re-institutes and defines the performance review process that was ceased in the early 1980s.
"House Bill 30 forces the legislature and administration to refocus on each agency to decide whether the money being spent is necessary and what's not," Speaker Chenault said. "Instead of trying to look at a multi-billion budget over the first half of the 90 day legislative session, we can better focus our efforts, department by department, especially in a time of declining oil production leading to declining revenues. We will better position ourselves to make the best, most fiscally responsible budgeting decisions year to year."
In order for state government to be as efficient, effective, and accountable as possible, legislators need the best information possible on what the state is really spending our money on.
~ Sen. Mia Costello
HB 30 lays out the review process, to be undertaken by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Division. The Division would conduct annual reviews based on the following proposed schedule:
- 2014 - Department of Corrections
- 2015 - Dept. of Health and Social Services
- 2016 - Dept. Education and Early Development
- 2017 - Office of the Governor, agencies of the legislative branch, Alaska Court System
- 2018 - University of Alaska
- 2019 - Dept. of Transportation
- 2020 - Dept. of Administration, Dept. of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
- 2021 - Dept. of Fish and Game, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Dept. of Natural Resources
- 2022 - Dept. of Revenue, Dept. of Law, Dept. of Public Safety
- 2023 - Dept. of Military and Veterans' Affairs, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development
"In order for state government to be as efficient, effective, and accountable as possible, legislators need the best information possible on what the state is really spending our money on," Representative Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, said. "This bill is a big step toward that goal, and I'm proud to be a co-sponsor." Costello carried the bill on the House floor during today's vote.
The review teams will look back at prior audits and departmental information to determine if efficiencies can be found in elements of programs that do not serve a current need, are not authorized by the Constitution or statute, or are not essential to an agency or department's mission. The team would look at, among other things, an agency's 10-year growth history, and a 10-year projection of expenses.
HB 30 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.
Contact: Speaker Chenault's office, 907-465-3779.