Tag Archives: agencies

Legislator Suggests Audits of Development Districts

The developments concerning the Living the Dream project and the Upper Cumberland Development District has now gone to the state level, reports the Cookeville Herald-Citizen.
The latest development involves State Rep. Ryan Williams filing a resolution for the comptroller to conduct a statewide audit of each development district and human resource agency in the state.
“There have been reports of other instances regarding similar instances in other communities happening in other areas,” Williams said. “We’re just trying to steward the taxpayers’ dollar better and understand how these (agencies) operate.”
Originally, Williams proposed a bill asking the legislature to create a special joint committee to study issues pertaining to development districts and human resource agencies in the state — including, but not limited to, the sources of funding for, the functions of and the community services provided by such development districts and resource agencies.
However, that bill was never presented due to the fiscal impact it would have. (Note: A quick check of the legislative website indicates no bill by Williams was filed on the subject; ergo, no fiscal note. Also, I thought they already did audits of HRAs and DDs.)
This new resolution (HJR818) states, “it is the duty of this general assembly to ensure that the UCDD and the remainder of Tennessee’s development districts, and human resource agencies, are being operated upon sound management principles and with fiscal responsibility; now, therefore, be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the 107th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the Senate concurring, we hereby request the Comptroller of the Treasury to conduct an audit of each development district and human resource agency in this state, including, but not limited to, the sources of funding for, the functions of, and the community services provided by each development district and human resource agency.”

Governor Moves to Assert More Control Over Independent Agencies

Having completed a “top-to-bottom review” of more than 200 arms of state government, Gov. Bill Haslam is moving to assert more direct control over their operations and reduce their numbers.
His move has stirred some bipartisan unease among legislators and outright opposition from representatives of some professions and industries regulated by the boards and commissions impacted.
About 140 job positions would be abolished in 22 different governmental organizations.
In general, critics see Haslam’s legislative proposals as an unwarranted assertion of executive political power that undermines the independent operations of agencies. These agencies, they believe, are working well and, in most cases, operate on fees collected from regulated industries rather than general tax dollars.
The governor says it’s simply a matter of bringing more efficiency and effectiveness to elements of the state bureaucracy that have gone for decades in some cases without change. He also wants to assure they are “fulfilling the purpose they were originally intended to when they were created.”

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Agencies Apologize for Foulups After I-40 Potato Truck Wreck

Officials from two Tennessee state agencies apologized to an estimated 400 motorists on Interstate 40 who were forced to spend 11 hours in their vehicles after a truckload of potatoes wrecked on Interstate 40 near Lebanon, reports The Tennessean.
“We should have done better, and we apologize,” Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer said. “Some procedures were not followed, and an internal investigation is being done.”
TDOT and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, which is part of the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, took equal responsibility for the delay, saying several factors contributed in the aftermath of the wreck.
The tractor-trailer carrying a load of about 40,000 pounds of potatoes crashed about 8 p.m. Thursday just before mile marker 245 in the Tuckers Crossroads area east of Lebanon in Wilson County. All the eastbound lanes were blocked for about 11 hours until the interstate partially opened just after 7 a.m.
Roy Golden, 55, of Knoxville, driver of the truck, faces charges that include DUI, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, consumption of alcohol in a commercial vehicle and possession of schedule IV drugs.

Just 2 of 25 State Agencies Have Competed Their ‘Top-to-Bottom Review’

Starting on the campaign trail, Gov. Bill Haslam has repeatedly promised a “top to bottom review” of state government. But a TNReport survey of all 25 state agencies reveals that just two have completed and made public their “top-to-bottom” departmental reviews
. The rest say those reports are either “under review” by their department or the administration or are still incomplete. Haslam’s office says the governor’s OK with that.
“It’s not a question of them being finished or not because this is a working process, and they are being reviewed,” said spokesman David Smith.
Results of the studies will be built into next year’s spending plan, he said, although those details are still being examined by the governor’s office.
In his inaugural address last January, the governor said his administration “will be diligent in watching the weight of state government, going on a diet of efficiency and effectiveness. State government will live within its financial means, and a Top to Bottom review will set priorities and establish measurable goals.”