Thursday, April 10, 2008

Transparency Update

HB5137 was introduced last August. It requires the state to put all expenditures on a searchable database. It has been sitting in the House Oversight Committee ever since. Yesterday, I moved to discharge the bill from the committee to the House floor. The motion passed. The floor leader immediately moved to send the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

The only reason (excuse) we have heard from House "leadership" and the Governor are that it costs too much to implement. In fact, the State Department of Information Technology, a department with a $37 million budget and over 1500 employees, sent a letter that says it could cost up to $150 million to implement this for Michigan Government! While DIT makes that outrageous claim:
  • Kansas and Missouri (www.mapyourtaxes.mo.gov) have done it within existing budget. No additional expense.
  • Google has written to each state informing them that they are willing to partner with governmental agencies to implement searchable database technology.
  • The Texas state comptroller has written in a letter to Americans for Tax Reform that her state has saved millions of dollars as a result of transparency implementation. They have found duplicate contracts and have consolidated functions or purchasing practices.
  • The federal government has offered their software, which was used to create a website for the $3 trillion budget, to the states as open source software, FREE OF CHARGE!

There can only be one explanation for the Governor and Dem leadership's refusal to move this bill, they are hiding millions of dollars in waste and mismanagement.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, there's another possibility. DIT has no idea what to do and doesn't want to do it.

Put out an RFP and see what comes back.

Anonymous said...

Jack,
To your last point, isn't headcount and per pupil funding the true reason behind this intrusion? The education bureaucracy lost the teacher certification battle in the courts and they don't give up easily.

School districts in which homeschoolers reside want to count every school-aged child regardless if they attend a government school. I would assume that homeschool parents would not want their children to "end up attending a government school," yet we still have to pay our confiscatory taxes.
The new governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, is blazing some new trails in education reform and is aggravating the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

On March 26 in the Independent Weekly, Nathan Stubbs described Jindal's education initiatives:
"...vouchers or public funds given to assist parents in sending their children to private schools; a merit-based pay scale for teachers; and the push for a greater expansion of charter schools in the state. All three issues have been at the forefront of national debates over education reform for more than a decade and continually draw the ire of teacher unions that fear they will undermine public education.

Proponents argue these measures, when used in the right way, help to drive competition, allow for a healthy option of choices for parents and students, and encourage schools to be more innovative and efficient."

If only Michigan would have the boldness to elect a true conservative governor like Bobby Jindal in two years!

Anonymous said...

If the Michigan Republican Party had any guts, your post would be made into an ad and run throughout the state starting today.

Shine the light of truth, and the democrats will run for cover.

JGillman said...

Actually..

Waste, mismanagement is only a little part of it. What about wanton corruption?

The method the US fed govt uses is quite complete. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find convenient cousins with FEC, and SOS records and a few high dollar contracts paid for by us little folk.

Anonymous said...

Transparency. The number one principle of democracy is to have a government by the people and for the people - that includes making its operations known to the public.

We don't live in a fascist society where the people live for the purpose of fullfilling the wishes of THE GOVERNMENT.

Hats off to Hoogendyk for pursuing this important matter.

Dan said...

That $150 million dollar claim is rather laughable. One database with a few employees would not cost that much. But oh wait. This is the left. I forgot it's going to take them twice as many employees as needed who are paid twice the market value for their work. It will also take money to "thank" some campaign supporters by giving them the job of providing the hardware well above cost. So I suppose when you do the math like the left do it, it would take $150 million to do this.

live dangerously said...

Nice site Jack. I'll sign your petition. Back on topic.
Let's see Free Software
Google offering to partner
Other states have done it
Other states have saved money
yup sure sounds like something Michigan doesn't need.
Sounds like we need new leadership to me. Maybe Our Secretary of State should move up to the governor spot.
Regards Live Dangerously Be a Conservative