What do you do when you promise to cut your costs but you don't want to actually cut them? Transfer them to another department and claim it as savings anyway.
Gov. Rick Perry last year ordered state agencies to reduce their budgets 7 percent and promised that he would lead the way by cutting his own office by 14 percent.
Part of Mr. Perry's cost savings was achieved by transferring the salaries of two maids, a cook and a porter at the Governor's Mansion to the Texas Building and Procurement Commission, according to state records obtained through an open records request by The Dallas Morning News. All remained assigned to the governor.
In addition to those four posts, Mr. Perry's office reassigned the salaries of five other staffers for mail support, purchasing and information systems to the procurement commission. They, too, maintained their duties for the Republican governor.
Press secretary Kathy Walt said the salaries of the transferred personnel – amounting to $300,000 annually – were part of the equation used by the governor in January 2003 to achieve his 14 percent cost savings.
She said the workers were moved for greater efficiency and because Governor's Mansion upkeep is overseen by the procurement commission.
The mail, purchasing and computer tech workers were made available to other agencies, although they still fulfilled their duties at the governor's office, she said.
"It means they were probably being asked to work a little bit harder when they were moved. Their duties were likely to increase," Ms. Walt said.