Hilderbran Pledges More Frequent Performance Reviews to Cut Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Duplication

December 13, 2013

Releases Performance Pledge Item #5, Will Seek Return of Function

SAN ANTONIO – Texas Comptroller candidate and House Ways and Means chairman Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) today pledged to conduct more frequent performance reviews if he is elected Comptroller with a goal of reducing waste, fraud, abuse and duplication in state spending.  He will seek approval from the Legislature to return this activity to the Comptroller’s office.  This proposal is the fifth point in his ten-point Performance Pledge to the voters of Texas.

“Every agency in state government should speak up when it identifies waste, fraud or abuse,” said Hilderbran.  “There was a time when the Texas Comptroller’s office was the lead agency in studying state government and recommending reforms.  If elected, I will ask the Legislature to return this function from the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) to the office of the Comptroller.  Since the Comptroller’s office cuts every check for every disbursement for the entirety of state government, this office should have the Performance Review function as it is the central clearing house for all state expenses.”

Legislature statutorily took away that function from the Comptroller’s office and gave it to the LBB in 2003.

Because the Comptroller’s office is the central source of information for cost control in state government, it is only logical to start at the place where all the relevant information is located.

Hilderbran believes that the Comptroller’s office is best suited to conduct Performance Review studies. He believes that it shouldn’t wait for a green light from the Legislature; it should act now. Regardless of the timing of the Legislature passing a statutorily-based obligation to identify and recommend ways to get rid of waste, Hilderbran believes that the Comptroller’s office can begin non-binding studies and report its findings to the taxpayers and the Legislature for consideration.

These non-binding studies should kickstart a reexamination by the Legislature as to its decision to place Performance Reviews in the LBB and outside the Comptroller’s office. The LBB is simply not best suited to carry out these studies, since it does not have any constitutional authority over revenue estimation and fiscal notes, as the Comptroller clearly possesses. Consequently, the LBB’s findings always have to be confirmed or adjusted by the Comptroller’s office regarding the dollar amounts involved in their recommendations. By having the Performance Reviews once again housed in the Comptroller’s office, taxpayers will have a “one-stop shop” back in business looking to identify – and quantify – savings from the eradication of waste, fraud and abuse.

“The Legislature never asked the Comptroller’s office to stop thinking and offering ideas on how to stretch tax dollars even further,” said Hilderbran.  “I will reestablish this function as soon as I take the oath of office.”

Before and after regaining the power to carry out “Performance Reviews” on state agencies and spending, Harvey Hilderbran will set-up a Performance Review office in the Comptroller’s office, so waste, fraud, abuse and duplication can be kept at the absolute minimum in our state government.

The first four points of Hilderbran’s Performance Pledge are instilling “rapid response” customer service, achieving interest rate parity, protecting Texas taxpayers from IRS abuse and a seven-point Texas Taxpayers Bill of Rights.  The Performance Pledge may be found at http://www.HarveyForTexas.com.