Under the Dome

Key oversight committee members appointed

Legislative leaders have appointed members to the General Assembly’s primary government oversight committee.

The Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations is responsible for monitoring and evaluating programs and policies while the legislature is not in session. It typically examines costs and benefits, management effectiveness and compliance across state government.

In recent years it has tackled issues such as pension investments and federally mandated health insurance, and it grilled the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services over problems in that agency.

The committee was recently in the news because a state law last year required the Department of Public Safety submit a report to to it before entering into any private prison maintenance contracts. Although a report was never submitted to the committee, the governor’s administration renewed an existing contract for three prisons for another year. ​Legislative attorneys said this week that the law allowed current contracts to be extended without going to Gov Ops. A Department of Public Safety memo from 2014 advised that all contracts, including contract extensions, must go before the committee. ​

The committee will meet periodically until the legislature returns in April for the short session.

Senate Leader Phil Berger said in a statement his office released on Tuesday: “This committee makes state government more accountable to its citizens, and I thank our senators for their willingness to serve and help fulfill this important responsibility.”

Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore co-chair the committee.

Berger made these Senate appointments: Harry Brown (ex officio), Louis Pate (ex officio), Tom Apodaca, Chad Barefoot, Stan Bingham, Dan Blue, Andrew Brock, Warren Daniel, Don Davis, Jim Davis, Joel Ford, Rick Gunn, Kathy Harrington, Fletcher Hartsell, Ralph Hise, Brent Jackson, Floyd McKissick, Bill Rabon, Bob Rucho, Josh Stein, Jerry Tillman, Tommy Tucker, Trudy Wade.

Moore made these House appointments: Dean Arp, Marilyn Avila, William Brisson, John Torbett, Bob Steinberg, Leo Daughtry, Nelson Dollar, John Bradford, Larry Hall, Susi Hamilton, Ed Hanes, Michelle Presnell, John Szoka, Pat Hurley, Linda Johnson, David Lewis, Pat McElfraft, Mitchell Setzer, Kelly Hastings and Michael Wray.

This post has been updated.