After calling for greater accountability in government spending in last week’s State of the State Address, Governor Mary Fallin has issued an executive order tightening personnel hiring and wage adjustment practices for all state agencies.
“As we address the developing budgetary challenges the state faces, it is incumbent upon all public officials to more carefully manage every taxpayer dollar. This order places greater restrictions and scrutiny on personnel spending while still allowing agencies to effectively manage their workforces to fulfill their missions,” Fallin said.
The governor signed an executive order that prohibits new hires, employee raises or bonuses unless an exception is approved by the statewide elected official who directs and manages the agency or the appropriate Cabinet secretary. The approval process requires a written, formal explanation from the agency director explaining why a new hire, pay raise or bonus is necessary.
“Except as specifically provided and authorized by this Order, all State agencies are prohibited from hiring, reinstating, granting salary raises, awarding performance bonuses, promoting employees, and accepting a transferred employee from another agency without first securing the expressed, written approval of the appropriate Cabinet Secretary,” the order states.
Fallin said the order was necessary to ensure taxpayer funds were directed at state services rather than additional personnel or salaries. According to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, approximately two-thirds of all state employees (22,607) have had a pay raise since 2011.
“As I said in my State of the State Address last week, every dollar we spend in state government needs to be appropriately justified to taxpayers.” said Fallin. “We know there are instances when state agencies need additional personnel, or when good performance merits a pay raise. This executive order will require agencies to offer a detailed explanation for personnel spending increases before committing additional taxpayer resources.”