Campus Notebook: Police Hire ‘New Eyes’ for Budget

Posted October 8, 2010 at 5:23pm

Following a bungled budget, the Capitol Police Board has enlisted a pair of private contractors to advise department administrators on their budgetary process.

The board decided to bring in the “fresh new eyes,” as board member and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer called them, to help scrub the budget and institute a template the agency can use moving forward.

“It’s healthy all the time to have outside people come in and take a look at what you’re doing,” he said.

Police Chief Phillip Morse discovered a $5.5 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2010 stemming from salary and benefits miscalculations. That gap has since increased to $6.8 million, and could be as much as $14.8 million in fiscal 2011.

At a July oversight hearing, Capitol Police Inspector General Carl Hoecker told lawmakers that the department doesn’t have adequate control over its budget formulation process, that past proven budget practices were not followed and that the process is outdated.

The department’s chief administrative officer and budget officer have since resigned.

The department is looking to fill the positions soon, Gainer said.

The two contractors are being paid $16,320 for the work, or $102 per hour for 160 hours each, he said. They will deliver weekly updates to the board.

Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers’ office paid for the first three months of contract work. Gainer’s office took over for the next three months starting Oct. 1, Gainer said.

If another three months are needed, the bill will fall to House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood, the chairman of the Capitol Police Board.

New Website for Architect

The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for renovating the Capitol complex, but now the office’s web presence is getting an upgrade.

The agency has agreed to pay a public relations firm nearly a half-million dollars to revamp its website.

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide will help develop panoramic images, videos and 3-D models to add to, which gets more than 3 million visitors a year, according to the AOC’s request for proposal.

The $476,000 contract extends through October 2011.

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