VACostCutting

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

DGIF Oversight

Today, the Agriculture Committee heard testimony from Colonel Massengill about the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries progress in dealing with the problems that had been previously brought to light in the press. We did hear some new bits of information that should be noted. If I get the facts of the testimony wrong I apologize. We will be reviewing the transcript of the court reporter in the next couple of days; however, these are some of the notes that I had.

430 state issued credit cards for purchases that included gun shells, turkey calls, camo gear, guns and gun safes, monogrammed shirts and self starters for cars.

Here is the internal audit of DGIF.

Clearly, we need more oversight of our government.

We should not take our displeasure out on the front line employees who are doing their jobs to the best of their ability.

We do need, however, to discuss the very large severance package that was given after these issues came to light.

5 Comments:

  • Chris, I was wondering if Matt ever made it on to the CCC?

    By Blogger republitarian, at 1/18/2006 5:44 PM  

  • We know that DGIF was a special case, but I do wonder if questionable expenses such as these would have turned up in a "normal" audit. I sometimes wonder if the auditors we have are "skeptical" enough, or if they too easily buy explanations from the agencies.

    I suspect there are similar, if less egregious, examples of questionable expenditures in most agencies. Since there's no premium put on reducing expenses at agencies or highlighting expense reductions by line-item category, there's no real incentive for agency directors or managers to ask too many questions, especially if they're the ones making the purchase.

    Maybe if we stopped and asked, "Would the average taxpayer approve this purchase?", we might have the right formulation for an expense reduction program.

    By Blogger Will Vehrs, at 1/18/2006 5:53 PM  

  • Reform is desperately needed at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The problems at VDGIF are much deeper and broader than the infamous safari junket. Problems started with bad appointments by both Republican and Democratic governors. Reform is needed badly but doing nothing is better than doing something bad which might make the situation worse in the future. Further politicizing appointments will not improve the quality, competence and independence of those appointed to serve on this important board. The best solution is breaking up the consolidated power structure at this agency caused by chairmanship dynasties for which two individuals reigned for nearly a decade during my service on the board from 1994-2004. Requiring the VDGIF Board to rotate its chairman will force the Director to deal with all eleven board members equally and result in more oversight and accountability -- which should prevent past scandal and cronyism in the future. Postive and relevant reform is critical to the
    restoration of credibility of VDGIF with its sportsman constituency.

    Charles H. Cunningham
    Member of the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries from 1994-2004

    By Anonymous Charles H. Cunningham, at 1/18/2006 6:10 PM  

  • Republitarian - Matt did attend our first meeting.

    Chuck - we will look at amending a current bill to reflect your recommendations.

    By Anonymous Chris Saxman, at 1/18/2006 8:07 PM  

  • Thanks....but is he a voting member?

    By Blogger republitarian, at 1/18/2006 8:17 PM  

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