Brown wants top 10 list of actions to cut waste

Gov. Jerry Brown has asked two government oversight agencies to come up with a top 10 list of actions to cut government waste and inefficiencies.

In separate but identical letters to State Auditor Elaine Howle and Daniel Hancock of the Little Hoover Commission, Brown directed both agencies to turn in the list by March 4.

He asked both to come up with five measures that Brown could implement by executive order.

“This week I asked the state’s top watchdogs to provide my office with a list of their ‘Top 10 Actions’ to root out government waste and improve efficiency,” Brown said. “As we tackle a $25 billion deficit, we must examine and re-examine every possible way to save taxpayer dollars.”

Here is the letter, which he sent to both on Monday:

I want to access the best thinking from all parts of state government as my administration and the Legislature tackle the difficult work of closing the State’s $25 billion budget deficit. Over the years, your organization has exposed government waste and proposed thoughtful reforms. Although your proposals often were not heeded, I want to hear and listen to your ideas and act on those that will enable government to effectively reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

I accordingly ask that you send me a list of the top ten actions you believe California can take to reduce government waste and operate more efficiently. If possible, I would like your list by March 4, 2011, and I would like that list to identify at least five measures that I could implement by Executive Order.

With your help, we not only will get through the current fiscal crisis successfully, but we also will leave California stronger and better prepared for the future.

Earlier this week, Brown issued an executive order to freeze hiring across state government. And he has ordered all state departments to cut cell phones and the passenger vehicle fleet in half.

Steven Harmon