POSTED ON OCTOBER 1, 2008:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
An Efficient County Govt?
In 2007, for the first time in the history of Tulsa County government, the Board of County Commissioners authorized a comprehensive performance audit of those county operations within the authority of the Commission. Those operations included Human Resources, Administrative Services, Information Technology, Parks and Recreation, Court Services, Social Services, Highway and Engineering, Building Operations, Purchasing, and the Board of County Commissioners.
The Commission asked eleven citizen volunteers with business and entrepreneurial experience to bring a fresh set of eyes to the operations of county government. They were charged with the task of examining where and how county government could be more efficient, cost effective, transparent, and responsive to the needs the citizens of Tulsa County.
Performance audits differ from financial audits in that the objectives are to look at the general areas of operation, such as organizational structure, staff development, internal and external communications, administrative support systems, and the general view of county government services as viewed by the employees. The value of such an effort is greatly enhanced when as many employees as possible participate with the audit team in achieving these objectives.
Generally participation by employees in endeavors such as this may hover around 30 percent of the workforce. The Tulsa County Performance Audit smashed all records of participation by having almost 80 percent of the employees participate. This was accomplished by providing each employee with an online survey where they could anonymously yet honestly give their opinions and ideas which was strongly supported by the division directors in each area.
The final 155 page report contained over 50 recommendations for the Commission to consider. As Commission Chairman Fred Perry stated at the time the report was presented: "This Committee has provided excellent suggestions for us to consider and, as Chairman, I plan to implement some of these ideas in the short term and to look seriously at others for possible implementation."
Commissioner Randi Miller, who as Chairman in 2007 launched the study, remarked: "This report and the recommendations put forth by the Committee has the potential to be the blue print for county government reforms over the next 2-4 years. I believe that once these recommendations are implemented that we will have a truly modernized county government in Tulsa County."
The recommendations can be generally categorized into three groupings. The first group addressed efforts to improve the transparency of county government operations. The recommendations included a greater usage and expansion of the counties web site. This has already begun by the posting of the Performance Audit Report which can be found at www.tulsacounty.org. Other suggestions included producing a county newsletter, establishing a citizens help center, and making the dissemination of public information about county government a priority.
The second grouping recommended that a better working environment can be created by implementing an employee suggestion program, conducting a training needs assessment which prepares succession plans within the divisions, and conducting an independent, comprehensive compensation study.
The final category was looking at initiatives that can produce cost savings in the operations of county government. Here, suggestions to be considered included a long range cost savings/productivity plan, establishing a county wide strategic planning process, adopting an energy conservation plan, and greater emphasis on risk management and quality controls.
The citizens of the Performance Audit Committee are to be commended for having provided a great service to the citizens of Tulsa County by recommending that many sound business principals and practices be made a part of county government. As the Commission sets to work on a short term and long term implementation plan, it is quite certain Tulsa County government in the future will be greatly improved thanks to their efforts.
--Terry A. Simonson
Chairman, Tulsa County Performance Audit Committee
Pete and Repeat
How do you spell, REPEAT?
As this nation enters another period of involuntary debt liquidation, whoever wins the presidency in November will not have to worry about writing an inauguration speech. The president-elect can redeliver the speech given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 4, 1933. In that speech FDR laid the blame for the severe economic distress this country was experiencing on the financial community, particularly the investment banksters.
He firmly stated, "They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision people perish." Today as knowledge is increased, we can add the Federal Reserve to the bankster class. History will prove that the major blunders by the Maestro, Alan Greenspan and his successor Ben Bernanke were the ultimate trigger for our economic crisis. Since Greenspan took over leadership of the FED in 1987, every economic hiccup was followed by a slashing of interest rates and an increase in the money supply leading to a series of investment bubbles.
The end result was a humongous real estate bubble giving us a massive debt mountain. Our politicians are totally clueless about what is happening because the debt mountain is covered by a shroud of fog as a result of the deceit, corruption, and fraud by the investment banksters who in their demise are now being kept alive by their buddies at the FED.
The FED now insists that taxpayers must pay for the blunders by Fannie and Freddie. Government ownership of more liabilities will endanger the American way of life. All pain and no gain will replace the free market economy as the FED sponsors the Mussolini business model that will cause a dollar collapse.
--Robert A. Dahlquist
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