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ThinkTech Hawaii: Report Cards for State Agencies (Talking Tax)

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Legally Required but Some Refuse. The hosts for this show are Jay Fidell and Tom Yamachika.

One of the other duties that legislators have is oversight of our Executive Branch agencies. This is a normal function of government. We elect legislators. Legislators control the purse strings, and they need to make sure that the tax money we entrust to them is being spent wisely and efficiently.

To facilitate this oversight function, we have a number of laws that bear on the budgeting process. One of them, HRS section 37-75, requires agencies to come up with a ‘variance report’ that is supposed to list how much they were budgeted, how much was spent, and a narrative explanation for any significant difference. Agencies are also tasked with selecting some metrics that will help the legislators and the public see how they did, and with posting those metrics. These reports are due 30 days before the start of the legislative session. They are collected by the Department of Budget and Finance.

Some agencies cooperate. Some thumb their noses at the process.

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