ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY

For a small state Vermont has a BIG government.  The State is the largest employer with over 8,000 employees.  Its sprawling bureaucracy is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate for citizens AND state employees.  Several legislative and executive attempts at reining in this sprawl have proven unsuccessful.  This bill introduces three unique solutions: a short and simple legislative bill format; state process mapping using one software tool and tying subprocesses to employee performance evaluations; and creating an independent transparency and accountability board tasked with specific problems to solve in a specific time frame.
  1. This bill shall require all future bills to use a specific format provided in this bill that includes clearly defined and prominently displayed metrics for measuring results, tracking government progress, and calculating the public’s return on investment. All laws shall pass with a sunset date to ensure continued relevance in changing times.
  2. The bill also requires all branches of state government to identify their major processes, map them using Graham Process Mapping Software and keep them organized in a process chart library.  All state government entities must use a single format provided in this bill for required annual employee performance evaluations that lists all mapped sub processes the employee routinely uses and makes them responsible for keeping process charts for their section up-to-date on an annual basis.
  3.  Finally, the bill creates an independent Transparency and Accountability Board (TAB) comprised of members inside and outside of government.  It will be an authority with clear powers to compel state government to reform its management and reporting systems. It will have staff paid the first two years from appropriations but subsequently from savings, as it too will have outcome metrics to achieve. 
    1. The first task of the TAB shall be to address the biggest, and most important, challenges—beginning with the Agency of Human Services.  As a first step, the TAB will develop a “shared-view-of-the-client” – a modern and transparent management system that groups each state benefit and service (regardless of agency or department) by client.
    2. Another task of the TAB shall address the second biggest part of the budget: education.  It shall work to organize existing data on spending, activities, and outcomes into a “dashboard” capable of providing more timely data.
    3. At the same time these tasks are being worked on the TAB shall oversee a “WikiVSA” project.  Modeled after Wikipedia in both format and authorship, the “WikiVSA” project shall make the Vermont Statutes Annotated (VSA)more complete and usable and shall be the work of volunteer civics/law students, civic-minded organizations and individuals.