Auditor general staff cuts will probably cost more than they save

May 24. 2013 2:00PM - Last modified: May 24. 2013 2:13PM

Brent Burkey

To say that there is almost always going to be waste to find in a bureaucracy as large as Pennsylvania government is obvious. That's why conservatives don't like massive government. Well, one of the reasons. Something so big has room to produce lots of reasons not to like it.

Brent Burkey

So, with that being said, having to let go of a reported 67 people as part of a looming $3.5 million hole in the Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General's budget for the coming year, thanks to flat appropriations, is amazing and ironic considering these people are in the part of government charged with policing waste.

In other words, we pay them to save money and make sure the wheels of government turn as efficiently as possible. Not paying them means we probably aren't as able to save money or locate specific inefficiencies. If anyone sees the cost-savings logic in that, please let me know.

I say give them the money this year, reverse the layoffs, and at the end of 2013-14, the move just very well might pay for itself.

This is similar to the logic behind a state Senate Republican's bill that recently was signed by the governor — and that's supposed to get about $4 million for the coming budget year — to provide grants for community clinics in Pennsylvania so that fewer people utilize more costly care at the local hospital's emergency room.

Here, too, a little upfront money can pay off in the long run.

Brent Burkey covers retail, tourism, and Lebanon and York counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@centralpennbusiness.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.


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