WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is facing a budget shortfall that amplifies the need to identify and implement potential cost savings measures throughout state government; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Planning and Budget initiated three pilot reviews that have evolved into a statutorily established program for which the Department has oversight over private sector consultants retained competitively under the Virginia Public Procurement Act; and
WHEREAS, according to the Department of Planning and Budget’s successful Virginia School Efficiency Review Program, school efficiency reviews completed to date in 32 participating school divisions have produced recommended net savings of over $22 million annually; and
WHEREAS, the legislative branch of state government has an annual budget of $73 million, and savings similar to those realized through the Department of Planning and Budget’s program may be accomplished by evaluating the operations of the General Assembly and agencies within the legislative branch; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission be directed to study legislative efficiency and recommend improvements.
In conducting its study, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall (i) review the efficiency and expenditures of each house and all agencies within the legislative branch in conducting their operations; (ii) consider best practices and identify opportunities for improving operational efficiencies and the reduction of costs for each house; (iii) evaluate the performance of each house, its committees, and members in the following areas: overhead; human resources; procurement; facilities use and management, such as minimizing paper usage and participating in recycling programs required under § 10.1-1425.6 of the Code of Virginia; financial management; transportation; technology planning, such as using available technology at meetings and on the floor of the General Assembly, and to coordinate the scheduling of meetings and minimize travel when the General Assembly is not in session; and energy management; and (iv) make recommendations for other areas identified in the review that present opportunities to improve efficiency. In addition, the Commission shall consider and recommend whether § 30-19.12 of the Code of Virginia should be amended to moderate the per diem payment system to members attending pro forma sessions. However, the Commission shall not address the effectiveness of any legislative function.
Technical assistance shall be provided to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates, Office of the Clerk of the Senate, Department of Planning and Budget, and staffs of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission for this study, upon request.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2009, and the Chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2010 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether the Commission intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.