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FYI FROM SEN. SHAWN-MICHAEL MALONE

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Senator Malone to Governor: Focus on expediting capital projects to remedy current cash-flow problems suggests policy recommendations to avoid shortened workweek/payless paydays
April 1, 2003 – In response to Governor Turnbull's announcement to implement austere measures as an immediate remedy to alleviate the cash-flow problem, today, the 25th Legislature's Chairman of Government Operations, Senator Shawn-Michael Malone, wrote to the Governor asking him to also take a look at operational deficiencies in revenue-generating agencies and to consider some policy suggestions and recommendations that can have some positive impacts on the current fiscal situation.
"There are millions of dollars in capital projects being held up for various reasons that can be linked to deficiencies in the operations of these agencies. It is taking too long for DPNR to issue permits for major private developments. It is taking too long for Property and Procurements to process contracts for construction projects and professional services," Senator Malone stated. "And what is taking the Public Finance Authority so long to get the monies to fund various capital improvement projects including the cafeteria for the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School?" questioned Senator Malone.
"I formally believe that a closer look at some of these processes combined with a stronger commitment by agency heads to do their part in expediting these contracts and projects – with full knowledge that the government is experiencing cash-flow problems – I am sure we can avoid payless paydays and shortened workweeks and invigorate this economy with monies that are sitting dormant in the government coffers," Senator Malone suggested.
In his letter to the Governor, Senator Malone reiterated his support for amending the Financial Accountability Act by reinstating financial controls that were in the original law but were later repealed by the 24th Legislature (i.e. a mandatory balanced budget, hiring freeze, attrition program, and verified receipts provisions). Other cost saving policy suggestions offered by Senator Malone in his letter to the Governor included "bi-monthly" pay periods as opposed to "bi-weekly" ones, and that "all government printing needs outside what Property and Procurement’s Printing Office can produce should be considered ….to cut costs and save money," Senator Malone said.
Senator Malone also questioned the recent decision by the Public Finance Authority Board to pay salaries without Senate approval. "Many of my colleagues have expressed their concern about this unprecedented move to bypass the Legislature's authority as the only entity that can "appropriate money for government operations," Senator Malone said. "I am alerting you in advance that members of the Legislature will be writing you about this and it raises the issue of reforms to the PFA," Senator Malone continued.
On April 9th, the Committee on Government Operations will be hearing from the Department of Public Works, the Department of Property and Procurement, Inspector General, and the Attorney General to ascertain how many millions of dollars are being held up from being circulating in the economy because of deficiencies in the contractual and procurement process, along with their compliance with the Federal Inspector General's most recent audit on procurement and contract procedures.

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