Senate Cost-Cutting Commission Examines State Vehicle Fleet Costs, Education Spending
HARRISBURG – The Senate Government Management and Cost Study Commission examined the costs of the state vehicle fleet and possible savings in education spending during today’s hearing, according to Commission Chairman Senator David G. Argall (R-29).
The commission heard testimony from Deputy Auditor General for Audits Thomas Marks regarding recent reports on the state vehicle fleet.
“Our special report determined that the Department of General Services must exert greater control over its management of the state’s vehicle fleet of 16,637 vehicles,” said Marks. “Although DGS said that it had centralized management of the vehicle fleet, effective January 5, 2009, it was a step that should have occurred long ago.”
Argall said that the commission hopes to work with DGS to closely examine state vehicle expenses in the coming weeks to identify possible savings to taxpayers.
State Representative Sheryl Delozier (R-88) offered testimony on the Privatize, Retain, Innovate, Modify and Eliminate (PRIME) Initiative created in 1995 to examine government spending. The PRIME Initiative coordinated the implementation of recommendations made by the Improve Management and Cost Control Task Force (IMPACCT) Commission established by Governor Ridge to review the operations of state government. Delozier pointed out that the PRIME Initiative did not examine education spending and suggested that the General Assembly do a similar study on education costs.
Commission members also heard a presentation by County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) Executive Director Douglas Hill and Deputy Director Brinda Carroll Penyak. CCAP is a non-profit, non-partisan association providing legislative and regulatory representation on behalf of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Hill advocated restoring funding for the Human Services Development Fund to help prevent costly local problems in the future.
Nathan Benefield, Director of Policy Research for the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, provided testimony on transparency and accountability in state government.
“Every dollar you tax, borrow and spend is a dollar that cannot be spent, saved, or invested by the people who earned it,” said Benefield. “Creating a publicly accessible online spending database, such as that proposed in House Bill 1880, would discourage the misuse of tax dollars by identifying areas of waste or duplicative programs.”
Complete video from today’s commission hearing, along with supplementary materials, are available on the commission’s website.
Members of the public who have ideas they would like the commission to consider are encouraged to send an email to: email@example.com.
The commission will report its findings to the Senate in the form of recommendations no later than June 30, 2010 for legislative or state agency action. The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 3 in Hearing Room #1 of the North Office Building in Harrisburg.
For Immediate Release
April 12, 2010
Contact: Nick Troutman