General Assembly Moves to Create More Active, Nimble Government Watchdog | Beaufort County Now | Leaders in the General Assembly are planning to beef up the legislature’s oversight of state government, creating a new system that will be quick to act and more responsive to pressing issues in North Carolina. | carolina journal, general assembly, government watchdog, nimble government, february 19, 2021

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

General Assembly Moves to Create More Active, Nimble Government Watchdog

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is Andrew Dunn.


    Leaders in the General Assembly are planning to beef up the legislature's oversight of state government, creating a new system that will be quick to act and more responsive to pressing issues in North Carolina.

    The new watchdog function will take place within the legislature's joint committees and will replace the Program Evaluation Division, a nonpartisan staff office created in 2007. The staff of the Program Evaluation Division has been told their positions are being eliminated.

    While the details are still being worked out, House and Senate leadership are planning a system that will more quickly respond to issues as they arise.

    "By reinvigorating an existing bipartisan process, the General Assembly will have greater flexibility to examine issues in a more timely and efficient manner," said Lauren Horsch, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Berger, R-Rockingham.

    The model is similar to one used in the U.S. Congress. For example, the House Committee on Financial Services is holding a hearing this week to grill the CEOs of Robinhood and Reddit, two companies at the center of the controversy over the exploding share price of GameStop, which began just weeks ago.

    "The General Assembly is re-envisioning its bipartisan oversight of the executive branch to focus on solutions through a more responsive joint committee process that has the authority to compel timely and comprehensive answers from public agencies, a new direction for fulfilling the legislature's responsibility to identify and address inefficiencies in state government," said Joseph Kyzer, a spokesman for House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland.

    The Program Evaluation Division is one of several nonpartisan staff offices in the General Assembly; others include bill drafting and fiscal research, which will remain intact.

    The division produces a handful of reports each year. Recent reports have tackled such issues as financial incentives for employees in state corrections, the usability of the state's welfare case management software, and the impact of the state conveying a defunct reform school to Cabarrus County.

    The Program Evaluation Division has not addressed more recent issues like the Cooper administration's failures to deliver unemployment benefits in a timely manner. However, the division did plan to create a report on COVID-related expenditures this year under the "work plan" approved for 2021.

    Under the new system, members of both parties would be able to appoint members to oversight committees and maintain staff to aid the process. Hearings could be held in a matter of weeks.

    Andrew Dunn is a freelance writer for Carolina Journal.


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

When it comes to an inherent right, nothing is regulated quite like the Second Amendment.
As the N.C. State Board of Education votes Thursday, March 4, to reopen schools, a far-left teachers’ union is trying to deny that children are suffering from learning loss.
Top aides of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly pressured state health department officials to alter a report to remove the total number of nursing home residents who died from the coronavirus.
Group 4 vaccinations to begin March 24 for people who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk or who live in certain congregate settings
Jim Geraghty of National Review Online notes a disturbing tendency among some political observers.
This article is dedicated to our great Founding Fathers - men who had the courage, the foresight, and the wisdom to secure the freedom that I exercise and enjoy every single day. - Diane Rufino

HbAD1

Exec. Order No. 200 Establishes Flexible Work Search Requirements to Help Bridge Employment Gap
This nearly one-third reduction of state debt frees up the General Funds budget for other priorities, as annual debt service payments become less burdensome.
Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday that it is setting a new goal to reach a carbon-emission level of net-zero by the year 2030.
A majority of North Carolina public school students failed to pass end-of-course tests in fall 2020, according to new data from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Feb. 27 on a 219-212 vote.
Governor Roy Cooper released the following statement on Senate Bill 37
Joni Ernst and Tom Schatz write for National Review Online about the disturbing return of congressional earmarks.

HbAD2

 
Back to Top