OK ‘Office of Accountability and Innovation’ offered

The Oklahoma Senate voted 32 to 15 Monday to send Gov. Brad Henry legislation to make state government more accountable, effective and innovative.

Senate Bill 1865, by Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, creates an Office of Accountability and Innovation at the Legislative Service Bureau. The office will conduct regular performance audits of agencies, recommend best practices to improve efficiency in government, review tax policy, and suggest new innovations to make government more accountable and effective for taxpayers.

The bill is a key piece of the Senate Republicans’ 2008 legislative agenda.

“Senate Republicans are strongly committed to making government more accountable, more effective and more innovative,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “The Office of Accountability and Innovation will give the Legislature the tools to help state government better serve the people of Oklahoma. One can look at success of the recent performance audit of the Department of Corrections as an example of the honest assessments and innovative recommendations we expect to receive from the legislative Office of Accountability and Innovation.”

House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, is the House author of the SB 1865. The bill passed the House of Representatives on April 24, 2008 by a vote of 65-28.

With the Senate’s passage of the SB 1865, it now goes to the governor’s desk.