The newly seated commission on Agency Performance & Accountability Audits met today at the state capitol. Former GOP Gubernatorial Candidate & Oil Industry executive, Bob Sullivan of Tulsa is the chairman. The meeting focused on preparations for the bidding process for the first round of audits. Consultants are being vetted for their capabilities to comprehend, identify, and produce solutions. The bids will not be awarded until the legislature funds the commission. The consensus funding request is $5 million per year over the next 4 years.
A subcommittee reported that they met with State Auditor & inspector, Gary Jones; but said that Jones offered no advice or comment to the group. It's likely that Jones will explain this silence.
Once the bidding of contracts goes out, the clerk of the commission will cloak the identities of the contractor firms, so the commission has no idea who they would award contracts to. They will also impose a blackout upon themselves so that no discussions of the bids will occur once the first bid comes in, and continue in affect until the bids are awarded.
The commission members expressed concerns with HB3595. That bill amends the current statute in regard to the recommendations included in these Commission reports. Speaker McCall now wants to change one word. Here's the crucial phrase.
Members of the House Platform Caucus have said that they insist on a legitimate performance audit of any agency, before approving increases in future funding. This commission may finally move the legislature to a better consensus of what proper funding looks like.
One final note: Sullivan has been an outspoken supporter of education reform. His most recent OpEd ran in the Tulsa World about a year ago.