An effort to improve state efficiency

Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz said a new commission that will conduct performance audits of state agencies will offer lawmakers independent data to improve the management and fiscal affairs and operations of the biggest state agencies.

The Agency Performance and Accountability Commission was created with the passage of HB 2311, which Schulz co-authored.

The commission will conduct independent comprehensive performance audits at least once every four years of the state agencies with the top 20 highest appropriations. The Legislature may use the results of the performance audits to craft policies that ensure government agencies and services are provided in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, said Schulz, R-Altus.

“Performance audits are important to help us find and eliminate waste, and ensure tax dollars are being used in the most cost-effective manner. That’s important regardless of a good or bad budget year. Equally as important is the fact these audits will provide the Legislature with information on how services are delivered and whether state agencies can do things better to improve the delivery of those services to Oklahomans,” Schulz said.

“It’s important that the Legislature take a long-term view of the cost of state government and the delivery and efficiency of state services. The Agency Performance and Accountability Commission will provide lawmakers with a lot of valuable information on state budget trends and best-practices from the private sector. All of that data will help lawmakers make more informed decisions when setting budgeting priorities.”

In accordance with the HB 2311, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate has three appointments to the board. Schulz’s appointments are:

  • John O’Connor of Tulsa, an attorney from Tulsa;
  • Bob Anderson of Enid, a former tax commissioner; and
  • Jay Cowart of Altus, a cotton co-op manager who fits the appointment of a business efficiency expert.

“I very much appreciate these talented folks for their willingness to serve their state to help our government better serve Oklahomans,” Schulz said.