Blog the Budget! Executive Offices

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4 responses to “Blog the Budget! Executive Offices”

  1. Interesting that if you look at the Division of Debt Collection in the Office of the Attorney General, you’ll find no objectives stated against which to measure performance. Contrast this with the Medicaid Fraud area in which the objective states proudly that the office has recovered $12 million annually.

    Could this be because the Division is in need of “financial management improvements” according to the 2005 Audit Report (posted online at http://www.apa.state.va.us) and that there is a “lack of financial management and information system expertise within the Division.” According to the Auditor, the Division management does not monitor “number, dollar values or ages of outstanding accounts.”

    And, what are the results for the taxpayers from the Division’s work?

    The Auditor’s Report shows that the office currently has 23 staffers (up from 15 in 2001), 11,140 accounts open (up from 5,571 in 2001), receivables valued at $159 million (up from $81 million in 2001) and gross collections of (drum roll, please)
    $10 million down from $11 million in 2001.

    That’s right, with half again as many people, twice as many accounts and almost twice as much money to collect, the Division collected less money in 2005 than in 2001 (and 2002, 2003, and 2004).

    And, we’re going to give the division an additional staff member in this year’s budget? Will that mean even fewer dollars recovered next year?

    One hopes that the money committees (and the new Attorney General) will give this dismal record a careful look before approving more staff and money for an agency with such a poor record of managing what it has.

  2. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Good questions, Claire! Employment up and collections down. There may be a good explanation — but someone in the General Assembly had better be asking for it.

  3. Jim Bacon Avatar

    I can’t resist. It looks like the Office of the Governor has increased spending by 71 percent over the past three years. The spending surge was understandable in Fiscal 2005, when 8 positions were added to the governor’s staff. I presume that those jobs represented a transfer of existing positions from some other department — although I would like to see details.

    A bigger question: What accounts for the $1.3 million increase in Fiscal 2006 when no new positions were added? What’s going on in the Governor’s Office?

  4. Jim:
    Here’s your answer from the Governor’s amendments to the 2004-06 budget. It boils down to the fact that the transfer of the 8 positions took place mid-year; full costs not reflected in the Governor’s office appropriation until the second year of the biennium. By the way, the reason for this change was to make the budget more “transparent”. Previous governors had “hidden” real costs of their operations by burying FTEs and money for some of their personnel in agency budgets:

    • Office of the Governor
    − Fully Budget Operating Expenses. Provides $219,588 GF the first
    year, $1.5 million GF the second year, and eight FTE positions to
    accurately reflect the operating budget of the Office of the
    Governor. This is a technical amendment to reflect recent findings by the Auditor of Public Accounts and is one of several affecting the Office of the Governor and the Cabinet Secretaries.

    CG2

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