Monday, August 25, 2008

Commonwealth Competition?

The latest edition of Bacon's Rebellion is up, and this edition contains an insightful article by Leonard Gilroy on "Closing the Budget Shortfall."

Looking at the Commonwealth Competition Council, Mr. Gilroy finds that though the Council has done good work, its status as an advisory body rather than one with a mandate to ensure the implementation of recommendations leaves it relatively weak. He urges the Commonwealth to "develop more effective tools to systematically evaluate competition and efficiency opportunities across state government."

Luckily, some in the General Assembly understand the need to modernize the state’s efficiency tools. Earlier this year, Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton, introduced House Bill 1238, which would replace the current CCC with a new Commonwealth Realignment Commission with more teeth to review the operations of state agencies and state-funded programs and promote privatization through competitive contracting.

The bill didn’t advance, but policymakers should revisit it in the next session. Whether or not that particular approach would offer the state a more powerful tool certainly merits a substantive policy discussion. Regardless, Saxman’s bill is exactly the kind of thinking Commonwealth taxpayers deserve to see more of moving forward.


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