EXECUTIVE ORDER S-20-09


EXECUTIVE ORDER S-20-09

            WHEREAS  transparency is fundamental to promoting efficiency and effectiveness in government and strengthening the democratic process by giving citizens enough information to reach their own conclusions about how their tax dollars are being spent; and

            WHEREAS audits of government departments and agencies and their operations can provide objective and measureable performance reviews and identify and correct inefficient or wasteful practices; and

            WHEREAS consumers seeking information on government operations are often frustrated because myriad oversight entities perform audits of departments and agencies, but the information is difficult to access easily due to the lack of a web-based, central inventory of audits organized on a department-by-department or agency-by-agency basis; and

            WHEREAS many internal audits that departments and agencies perform on their own operations are finalized but never made public; and

             WHEREAS my administration has been committed to promoting openness in government; and

            WHEREAS in March 2009, I directed that the statements of economic interest of my staff and top administration officials be posted to a new Reporting Government Transparency web site and directed that the travel and expense form reports of top administration officials be posted on-line; and

            WHEREAS  in April 2009, I appointed former Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick to act as watchdog and Inspector General of the state’s spending of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds; and

            WHEREAS continuing the commitment to increasing transparency in government is critical at a time when the global recession has deepened and California’s economy continues to struggle; and

            WHEREAS on June 4, 2009, I issued Executive Order S-08-09 wherein I directed state agencies and departments under my direct executive authority to post audits of their operations performed by outside entities dating back to January 1, 2008 and financial and programmatic audits that agencies and departments have done on their own operations and audits that they have performed on other government entities dating back to January 1, 2008; and

            WHEREAS the technical definition of “audits” is too narrow and there is a need to increase transparency in government by posting other types of reports and similar documents on the Reporting Government Transparency web site.

            NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this Order to become effective immediately:

1.    In addition to audits, state agencies and departments shall take immediate action to post to the Reporting Government Transparency web site program reviews, monitoring and accountability reports, evaluations, inspections, assessments and studies of their operations dating back to January 1, 2008, performed by outside entities, such as the Bureau of State Audits, State Controller, the Department of Finance, or a federal agency with oversight responsibility of their operations, or performed on their own or that they have performed on government entities and any other non-governmental organizations (including non-profits, community based organizations, or private sector companies) that they monitor or oversee and who have received public funds.

2.    Agency and department web pages shall provide easy access to these documents.  Departments and agencies shall post future documents to the Reporting Government Transparency web site within 5 working days of finalization.

3.    Nothing in this Order shall be construed as requiring the posting of documents where such posting would (a) violate federal or state laws; (b) result in the unauthorized waiver of privileges, such as the attorney-client, attorney work product or deliberative process privileges; or (c) result in the unauthorized waiver of exemptions from disclosure under the California Public Records Act.

            IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the agencies and departments under my direct executive authority shall cooperate in the implementation of this Order.

            This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, officers, employees, or any other entity or person.

            I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.