August 13, 2004
Governor practices Enron accounting

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.

What a great boss. Who knew that Perry's hair was actually pointy? Via Carefully Selected Garbage.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 13, 2004 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

Let's see. Perry demanded that all state agencies cut their budgets by seven percent to deal with the record-setting budget shortfall he and his predecessor caused. He even bragged that he would set the example by cutting his office's budget by 14 percent -- twice what he was asking others to do.

Except now we learn that Perry not only failed to reach his 14 percent goal, he also failed to reach the seven percent goal he set for everyone else and actually INCREASED his office's budget by six percent -- even after he transferred the salaries of his butler and maids to another agency to hide their costs.

No wonder Texans are "sick of Rick."

Posted by: Zangwell Arrrow on August 13, 2004 8:15 PM

Kuff, your Dilbert link is broken.

Posted by: Mathwiz on August 16, 2004 2:55 PM

Link fixed. Thanks, Mathwiz!

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on August 16, 2004 3:14 PM