Who Reports on the Reporters?


The state of Texas just spent 18-months to publish a 668-page report finding—wait for it—that the state of Texas issues too many reports.

In the past, the state regularly compiled a list of about 400 reports that agencies were required by the Legislature to produce. But the commission found more than 1,600, and state records administrator Michael Heskett is pretty sure his team hasn't found them all.

Heskett's initial findings indicate more than 400 report requirements are obsolete, duplicative or not needed as frequently as currently required.

"At first, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of reporting requirements," Heskett said. "We haven't begun our evaluation yet. But I think we can reach our goal of eliminating the deadwood without compromising the need for accountability in our state agencies."

In true public choice fashion, the report reporters also make a case for their job security, arguing that so long as there are too many reports in Texas, there will be a need for someone to issue a report on the matter.

As for the commission's massive report on reports, Heskett predicts it won't go away.

"For the report to be effective, it must be ongoing," he said.

Via Fark.

NEXT: The Passion of the Pumpkin

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  1. I blame this on Urkobold’s&trade roving reporter.

  2. You can’t parody these people. They do it themselves.

  3. “For the report to be effective, it must be ongoing,” he said.

    That’s where he’s wrong. Obviously, what this needs is a committee.

  4. That’s where he’s wrong. Obviously, what this needs is a committee.

    You forget that you first need a task force to take years to explore the need for such a committee, and to pick incredibly (un)qualified people to be on it.

  5. The roving reporter has been MIA for a while. Oh, Mr. Crane! Come back!!!

  6. It is only totalitarian governments that suppress facts. In this country we simply take a democratic decision not to publish them.

  7. When I was a mid-level technician in the Navy we had to fill out a daily log that detailed everything we did with the fire control system. I remember now, it was selected equipment reporting.

    Convinced that nobody read the damned things, just made sure they were submitted, we started writing messages, asking people to contact us to prove otherwise. We sent holiday greetings and comments on sporting events.

    NOBODY ever got back to us. They would have if we didn’t submit them, but they were never read. I expect they were filed somewhere at taxpayer expense. Bureacracy never dies a natural death. It needs to be hunted down and terminated with extreme prejudice.

    A bureaucracy hit man might be a position I’d support. Just don’t make him file any paperwork. 😉

  8. Reports are very similar to meetings.

    “The modern business meeting, however, might be better compared with a funeral, in the sense that you have a gathering of people who are wearing uncomfortable clothing and would rather be somewhere else. The major difference is that most funerals have a definite purpose”.

  9. I’m on the other end of this one.

    If you work at a non-profit, for instance the rape crisis/domestic violence agency that pays me, the state of Texas is perfectly happy to provide grants to keep you operating. But for the thirty grand you get to operate your programs they require $20k in employee recordkeeping/manipulation time and $5k worth of computer/software to generate required reports of how you used the funds.

    They don’t pay you on time, either, but at least there isn’t a “Late Funding Report” to file.

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