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Public Statements

Issue Position: Government Reform

Issue Position

By:
Location: Unknown

Government Reform

Open & Honest Government Plan
“Good for Citizens, Good for Job Creation”

* Trust and Accountability
* Increasing Voter Participation and Awareness
* Eliminating Waste, Fraud and Abuse

Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling will provide open, transparent, and accountable government. Taxpayers and voters are the owners of our government agencies and their assets. It is imperative that we provide Virginians with the opportunity to participate more in how their government operates, and have a greater ability to monitor the activities of their elected and appointed officials.

For democracy to work effectively citizens must have a high level of confidence and trust in their government and those elected to represent them. Bob McDonnell is also committed to dramatically reducing any waste or inefficiencies when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. An effective state government is essential to providing excellent services to our Virginia families while ensuring that they keep more of the money they earn.

Trust and Accountability

Ban political contributions during procurement process - Taxpayers must be able to trust that state and local officials are making decisions about awarding government contracts based only on price, quality and experience. This ban will be placed on gifts to the executive branch and be limited to contracts over a certain amount. The prohibition would go into effect during the post-bid submission decision making process. This proposal parallels the prohibitions placed on the legislative branch during the General Assembly session.
Lobbyist disclosure reform – Citizens should have more detailed information about issues and activities in which paid lobbyists are involved. Bob McDonnell will have legislation introduced that requires disclosure of the specific bills and procurement matters that lobbyists are working on, as well as information about entertainment expenses related to those matters.

Independent state ethics commission - Virginia is one of only 10 states without an independent ethics commission. Bob McDonnell will establish a permanent, statewide independent agency that will provide advice and research as well as evaluate complaints concerning elected officials and appointees to boards, commissions and other public bodies.

Live video streaming of public meetings - Bob McDonnell will have legislation introduced requiring all major executive branch boards and commissions to provide live streaming video on the Commonwealth's website. Video files will be archived so that citizens can view them at their convenience.

Transparency in Government - Taxpayers deserve to know more about how their tax dollars are used. With the recent budget shortfall approaching nearly four billion dollars, and billions in federal stimulus money flowing to Virginia, citizens should be provided easy access to information on where and for what programs their money is being spent. As Governor, Bob McDonnell will improve Virginia government transparency and set new standards for accountability. Bob McDonnell will implement upgrades to the Virginia budget online searchable database to make it more user-friendly, interactive, and transparent, using Texas and Missouri as a model for transparency and ease of use.

Increasing Voter Participation and Awareness

Bipartisan Redistricting - Whether through legislation or a Blue Ribbon Governor's panel, Bob McDonnell will ensure bipartisan citizen involvement in the state legislative and Congressional district redistricting process in 2010-2011. Legislative districts must be drawn in a way that maximizes voter participation and awareness and lines should reflect commonsense geographic boundaries and a strong community of interests. This bipartisan commission, comprised of Virginia citizens who have not held any elected office for at least 10 years, will select its own non-partisan chair and will provide the citizens with access to the process through public meetings, proposed maps online, and a website that will allow public comment and interaction in this important process.
Two-Term Governor - Virginia is the only state in America that limits its Governors to one term in office without an opportunity for re-election to a consecutive term. While we have been fortunate to have many outstanding Republican and Democratic Governors in our history, Virginia voters should have the ability to voice their support or opposition to the policies, programs and priorities of the top elected position in the Commonwealth.

Independent Campaign Fact Checker – Bob McDonnell will work with the education, business, and media communities to identify an independent, third party organization (non-governmental body) to run objective “fact checks” on political advertisements and direct mail for statewide campaigns. This organization would be based upon the model of the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division that reviews advertising for truth and accuracy.

Judicial Appointment Reform - Citizens must be given access and information about the judicial appointment and reappointment process so that they can voice their opinions to their elected representatives about the men and women who will serve on the bench. As Governor, Bob McDonnell will encourage every district to form local bar or a citizens merit selection panels to make recommendations to legislators on judicial appointments. Selections must be made on merit and ability to perform and not political connections. Similar procedures must be in place for judicial reappointment. As Governor, Bob McDonnell will improve the judicial performance evaluation system and put the system back on track to ensure competence, objectivity and accountability in the judicial branch.

Eliminating Waste, Fraud and Abuse

Government Performance Commission and Strengthened Internal Auditor – The Commission shall be established to review all major state agencies and boards on an eight-year cycle and advise the General Assembly on the elimination of waste, duplication, and inefficiency on the part of such agencies. Texas established a Sunset Advisory Commission in 1977 with similar authority, and the commission has saved the state nearly $750 million between 1982 and 2003, compared to spending just $20 million on the Commission.
Bob McDonnell will transform the State Internal Auditor into an Inspector General with enhanced authority to proactively pursue citizen complaints concerning fraud, waste and abuse in state government. Currently, the system is primarily designed for state employees to utilize the fraud, waste and abuse hotline.

Working Mom Government Simplicity Task Force –By Executive Order, Bob McDonnell will establish a Working Mom Government Simplicity Task Force to evaluate the need for and procedures governing all the permits, licenses, stickers, decals, registrations and certificates that government requires. Each usually requires a citizen to go to an office to wait in line, fill out a form and pay a fee. We must make changes by employing simplified procedures and technology.

State Manager Performance Pay – Bob McDonnell will establish a pilot program for performance pay for state managers. This performance pay program will be aimed at controlling state spending, incentivizing excellent performance and maintaining a high quality level of service to the people of the Commonwealth.


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