Subject: FW: Gov. Schwarzenegger Furthers Commitment to Government Transparency
GAAS:280:09

For Immediate Release:                                                          

Thursday, June 4, 2009                                                                         

                                                                                                        

 

Gov. Schwarzenegger Furthers Commitment to Government Transparency

Web site to Post State Contracts, Audits of State Agencies

 

Furthering the Governor’s commitment to government transparency, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed Executive Order S-08-09 and launched a new component to the Reporting Government Transparency Web site at www.reportingtransparency.ca.gov that will require all state contracts valued at $5,000 or more to be posted online. The Web site will also list both the internal and external audits of state departments and agencies, including information on operations, budget and programs, dating back to January 1, 2008. This executive order mandates that all state departments within the executive branch comply with the posting effort which is being facilitated by California’s Chief Information Officer Teri Takai.

 

“The people of California have a right to know what they are getting for their money,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “In this time of deep recession, it is more critical than ever that state government operates efficiently and is accountable to the people. That is why I am furthering my commitment to transparency and identifying waste today by ordering all state agencies and department to post the audits we do every year online in one easy-to-find place. This is one more step to make state government more accountable and to give the people the power to know how their tax dollars are being spent.”

 

Starting June 19, summary information on all state contracts reported to the Department of General Services will be posted on the Web site within five working days, dating back to March 2009. Starting on June 12, internal financial, operational, compliance and performance audits done by departments will be posted on the Web site dating back to January 1, 2008. Audits performed by outside entities such as the Bureau of State Audits, the State Controller’s Office, the Department of Finance and the Department of General Services will also be posted dating back to January 1, 2008.

 

Coordinating the effort is the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) which has established the Web site and is working with state departments and agencies to comply. The OCIO is responsible for coordinating with state departments and agencies on statewide information technology (IT) projects. On May 10, the Governor’s IT Reorganization Plan went into effect to consolidate statewide IT functions, including the Department of Technology Services, under the leadership of the OCIO. The reorganization will create more accountability and provide a framework to enhance IT programs throughout the state. 

 

In April, Governor Schwarzenegger launched the Web site to make publicly available the statement of economic interests, Form 700s and the travel expense claims for the Governor’s office senior staff and deputies, agency secretaries, agency undersecretaries and department directors.

 

In addition to launching www.reportingtransparency.ca.gov, Governor Schwarzenegger has taken these additional actions to ensure government transparency and accountability:

Full text of executive order:

EXECUTIVE ORDER S-08-09

 

 

            WHEREAS  transparency is fundamental to promoting efficiency and effectiveness in government and strengthening the democratic process by giving citizens enough information to reach their own conclusions about how their tax dollars are being spent; and

 

            WHEREAS audits of government departments and agencies and their operations can provide objective and measureable performance reviews and identify and correct inefficient or wasteful practices; and

 

            WHEREAS consumers seeking information on government operations are often frustrated because myriad oversight entities perform audits of departments and agencies, but the information is difficult to access easily due to the lack of a web-based, central inventory of audits organized on a department-by-department or agency-by-agency basis; and

 

            WHEREAS many internal audits that departments and agencies perform on their own operations are finalized but never made public; and

 

            WHEREAS billions of dollars in state contracts are entered into each year in California to purchase goods and services on behalf of the people, and posting contracts on-line is an effective way to help ensure that taxpayers are getting the best value and services are being provided in an efficient manner; and 

 

             WHEREAS my administration has been committed to promoting openness in government; and

 

            WHEREAS in March 2009, I directed that the statements of economic interest of my staff and top administration officials be posted to a new Reporting Government Transparency web site and directed that the travel and expense form reports of top administration officials be posted on-line; and

 

            WHEREAS  in April 2009, I appointed former Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick to act as watchdog and Inspector General of the state’s spending of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds; and

 

            WHEREAS continuing the commitment to increasing transparency in government is critical at a time when the global recession has deepened and California's economy continues to struggle, causing the state budget for fiscal year 2009-10 to fall out of balance by an estimated $24.3 billion.

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this Order to become effective immediately:

 

1.     With the assistance of the Office of the Chief Information Officer, agencies and departments on June 4, 2009, shall post to the Reporting Government Transparency web site audits of their operations dating back to January 1, 2008, performed by outside entities such as the

Bureau of State Audits, State Controller, the Department of Finance, or a federal agency with oversight responsibility of their operations.  Agency and department web pages shall provide easy access to audits of their operations.  Departments and agencies shall post future audits to the Reporting Government Transparency web site within 5 working days of finalization.

 

2.    Starting June 12, 2009, financial and programmatic audits that agencies and departments have done on their own operations and audits that they have performed on other government entities dating back to January 1, 2008, shall be posted to the Reporting Government Transparency web site.  Departments and agencies shall post future audits to the Reporting Government Transparency web site within 5 working days of finalization.

 

3.    Starting June 19, 2009, the Department of General Services and the Office of the Chief Information Officer shall ensure that all awarded contracts valued at $5,000 or more dating to March 2009, shall be placed on the Reporting Government Transparency web site.  All new contracts shall be posted within 5 working days of signing by all parties.

 

4.    Nothing in this Order shall be construed as requiring the posting of audits or contracts where such posting would (a) violate federal or state laws; (b) result in the unauthorized waiver of privileges, such as the attorney-client, attorney work product or deliberative process privileges; or (c) result in the unauthorized waiver of exemptions from disclosure under the California Public Records Act.

 

            IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the agencies and departments under my direct executive authority shall cooperate in the implementation of this Order.

 

            This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, officers, employees, or any other entity or person.

 

            I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.

 

           

                                                                        IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my                                                                            hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of                                                                                California to be affixed this 4th day of June 2009.

 

 

 

                                                                        ________________________________

                                                                        ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

                                                                        Governor of California

 

                                                                        ATTEST:

 

 

 

                                                            ________________________________

                                                            DEBRA BOWEN

                                                            Secretary of State

 

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