February 15, 2011
In the face of another budget crisis a generation ago, the Texas Comptroller launched what became known as Texas Performance Reviews. These were audits designed to review functions across state government and look for ways to save money.
In 2003 – due to what was described at the time as political and personality conflicts – the legislature moved this Performance Review function to the Legislative Budget Board, an agency controlled by legislators and budget writers. This has created a situation in which the Legislature is largely grading its own papers when it comes to where the budget can be improved and which improvements to pursue.
My bill would move the Performance Reviews back where they belong: to the Comptroller, who’s elected state-wide and independent of legislators and budget writers. It would increase the transparency of – and accountability for – this essential cost-saving mechanism in a way that might save the state money and shouldn’t cost anything.