This Week in NC: By EO, Gov. Purdue Orders Consolidation of State Government Agencies
To provide a little background, this is the first election cycle in over a century where Republicans have dominated the State Legislature in North Carolina. Since the midterm election, the new Legislature has been moving at such a rapid pace that it has been keeping their Democrat counter-parts and lobbyists up at night.
Our new General Assembly has been making progress on a lot of badly needed pieces of legislation, such as this recently-introduced bill that implements new voter ID standards and prohibits the type of piece-work payment for voter registration drives that has taken place in other states through organizations such as ACORN. I’ve started reviewing the NCGA website once or twice a week just to be aware of what is going on. (Plus, it’s been fun to watch the action!!!)
Lo and Behold, today this EO issued by Gov. Purdue appears on the site. Here are the facts of the EO:
By Executive Order (No. 85) issued by Governor Purdue, the state of North Carolina will now begin the process of consolidating and reorganizing the powers, duties and function of the agencies and departments within the Executive Branch of this state’s government. The stated purpose of this executive order is to (1) “ensure that State government services are provided in an effective and coordinated way”, and (2) to fulfill the Governor’s responsibility to “spend tax dollars wisely and efficiently”.
Before anyone gets excited about the fact that it is a Democrat Governor doing this, I’ll present a couple of facts involved in this that those outside the state of NC may not be aware of.
(1) Gov. Purdue is eligible for re-election in 2012.
(2) The state made a deal with the DNC to hold the 2012 National Convention in Charlotte, NC. Part of the deal is that any organization providing services or goods associated with DNC activities has to comply with union regulations. (Read this as a door of opportunity to establish Unions in a RTW state.) This deal was made prior to recent events that have been taking place in other states that involved Unions and their many minions.
(3) The majority of residents in the state of NC are pro-business, social moderates with a strong tendency towards being fiscally conservative. In light of recent events on the part of Unions that have taken place in other states, public opinion in NC is beginning to shift against the idea of having Unions come into our state, even for the DNC activities.
(4) Gov. Purdue is a fairly shrewd woman when it comes to politics. She knows her constituency relatively well. I’d say she recognizes that having Unions involved in the DNC convention in the state may not turn out as well for Democrats in NC as they had hoped.
(5) This EO is probably a pre-emptive measure on the part of the Governor to have something solid that will appeal to the residents of NC regarding her re-election prospects for 2012.
Consolidations and realignments of the sort that are included in this EO can present a solid option for long-term reduction of the costs associated with operation of government agencies. It can prevent duplication of various job functions, such as administrative, human resources, training, logistics, auditing, legal, information technology, accounting, etc. It can also prevent excessive overhead costs (i.e., equipment, software, building structure costs, utilities, etc.) that are usually associated with these duplications. Future appropriations for operating costs and investment of public funds into agency functions (including the costs of employee pensions) can be streamlined and reduced.
Think of it as the first step in a continuous improvement process with the goal to reduce the size and scope of government.
Step 1: Realign and consolidate.
Step 2: Justify the total number of employees needed to perform agency functions effectively and efficiently. Respond appropriately in light of justification results.
Step 3: Evaluate individual functions within the agencies.
Step 4: Justification of those functions on the basis necessity. Respond appropriately in light of justification results.
Then return to step 1 and repeat.
The current NCGA has proven itself willing to take a very proactive approach in addressing the issues facing our state. The EO by Gov. Purdue may have established a precedent that NCGA can put to good use in identifying other government agencies and functions (that were NOT included in the EO) that could be realigned and/or consolidated.
Take it and run with it, NCGA!!! Love the work you’re doing!! Keep it up!!