Today’s Greensboro News & Record offers up an article refuting the cries of many big-government advocates that the state budget has been “cut to the bone.”
Anyone who thinks state government already has achieved all the savings it can isn’t reading reports issued by the N.C. Auditor’s Office.
From August alone:
— A systems analyst at the Employment Security Commission used his work computer to copy movies and video games. He made them available “for others to use to pass the time when waiting for vendors.”
Rather than passing time at work, shouldn’t ESC employees be helping people find jobs?
— The Department of Correction “could save about $11.5 million a year by requiring hospitals and other medical service providers to bill Medicaid for eligible inmate impatient hospital and professional services.”
— State government’s performance-management system is so badly managed that “state supervisors could waste thousands of labor hours (millions of dollars in salaries) preparing and conducting performance appraisals that do not help the state achieve its goals.”
This is the system that improbably rated 80 percent of state employees as above average in job performance.
Those findings come from three reports in just one month. If the Auditor’s Office had the resources to examine operations at more state agencies more often, there’s no telling how much waste and inefficiency might be discovered and, one would hope, eliminated.
Kudos to the N&R for having the courage to write an article going against the typical tide of shrill “”but the budget is already down to bare bones!” proclamations coming from editorial desks throughout the state.
And, as the N&R notes, the examples they site are just the tip of the iceberg of the amount of waste and redundancy that still exist in the state budget. Indeed, going back just a bit further, we can see audits finding bureaucratic bloat in the UNC system and in the department of transportation; along with countless recommendations for further savings (few, if any that have been implemented).
I wonder if this year’s round of proposed state agency budget cuts will be as “draconian” as the ones implemented about a year and a half ago; such as limiting travel to core mission, placing employee orientation on-line, and shutting the computers down at night.
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