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Letters to the Editor: Administrative organization for the state

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The unmentionable … organize state government. It can occur without delay and without a constitutional amendment.

The Constitution, Article 4, Section 10, makes it the duty of the governor to cause the laws of this state to be faithfully executed. This constitutional authority is without adequate mechanisms in 2011 for this responsibility to be carried out. Revenue restrictions and citizen confidence require an organization. Our current situation amplifies and bears this out.

The administration of our state government has developed without any systematic planning. History finds new fields of state activity paralleled by the creation of new agencies to administer them. As a result, agencies grow; sometimes at a rapid pace and no permanent organization of supervision or intelligent assessment of their accomplishments, except the very boards that were part of their creation.

With this proliferation of independent boards, commissions, advisory panels each with its own “authority” we have a collection of virtual stand-alone operations. Also, one might conclude that they are jealously protected by each other’s constituency. 

Duplicity, overlapping, ineffectiveness, insensitive and non-economical are terms often used and can be used to describe our state’s current system of management. One can conclude a basic assumption that government ought to be economical, efficient, effective and responsive. This arrangement would not last long in the business world. This non-system of total management.

Effective state government can be accomplished by grouping all existing agencies, boards and etc. into newly created principal departments “cabinets” under an executive director “secretary” appointed by the governor and transferring their “existing rules, regulations, authority, records and etc.” Any attempt to pass judgment on these existing organizations during this process should be avoided. State departments headed by elected officials and those established by the Texas Constitution need to remain in place. 

Since the state has been instrumental in creating and systematically encouraging the growth of government at this level it’s now time for the state to develop a system for the account of its own creation. A cabinet form of administrative state government will allow the governor to monitor the progress and effectiveness in a timely manner and give him or her the “tools” to carry out his or her constitutional duty and obligation.

Fred Orr

Former member of the 

Texas House of Representatives

DeSoto


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