The Rapid City Journal is highlighting Lt. Governor Matt Michels for his new position in heading up a new state entity which will begin the arduous process of reviewing state contracts and grants for potential conflict of interest and to help improve public disclosure:
Clear requirements for financial reporting, ethics and public disclosure will be put in place and will apply to grant recipients and sub-recipients at every level where the money flows.
The Legislature established the new board in state law at the request of Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
Michels said they saw a gap in state government’s handling of grants and other money awarded to non-state entities.
Daugaard assigned Michels to lead the project. Michels developed the model with the state Bureau of Finance and Management where he tapped decades of expertise within the staff.
The bureau is widely perceived as the hub of state budgeting. Michels saw the agency didn’t have legal authority regarding daily financial decisions in state departments and agencies, including the administration of grants.
The bureau, which is an arm of the governor, also didn’t have clear authority to deal with financial inconsistencies among the 30 or more state departments, bureaus, elected constitutional offices, state universities, court system and legislative branch.
That led Michels to propose a Board of Internal Control that would cover the executive branch, the state universities and the courts.
I don’t think anyone disagrees that this is a good move on the Governor’s part.
One question is how this might affect the profile of the Lt. Governor? Could this be a quiet way to raise his profile as a government reformer as we inch towards 2018? He’s not often mentioned as one of “the big 3” being looked at for Governor in ’18 on the Republican side, but something such as this could help raise his profile in anticipation of the race.
What do you think?