Governor bans non-essential travel

Taking further action to save taxpayer dollars and cut government waste, Gov. Jerry Brown this week issued a sweeping Executive Order to halt state employee travel that is not mission-critical.This Executive Order comes one week after the Governor ordered state agencies and departments to recover millions of dollars in uncollected salary and travel advances. "Our fiscal challenges demand that we take a much closer look at how taxpayer dollars are being spent within state government," Brown said. "Now is not the time to attend conferences, travel to meetings or take out-of-state field trips and this Executive Order puts an end to it." Under the Governor's Executive Order, no travel is permitted - either in-state or out-of-state - unless it is mission-critical or there is no cost to the state. All in-state mission-critical travel must be approved by agency secretaries or department directors who do not report to an agency secretary and all out-of-state travel must be approved by the Governor's office. Permitted travel must be directly related to enforcement responsibilities, audits, revenue collection or other duties required by statute, contract or executive directive. Travel to attend conferences, networking opportunities, professional development courses, continuing education classes, meetings that can be conducted by video or teleconference or other non-essential events will not be permitted or paid for by the state. All agencies and departments must submit out-of-state travel requests for the next fiscal year directly to the Governor's office by May 6. In the past, agencies and departments have been allowed to switch previously approved trips with new trips during the fiscal year. The Governor's Executive Order ends this practice. Out-of-state travel requests must also document the purpose of the trip and why it is mission-critical, the destination and length of the trip, the projected cost and source of funding, the number of travelers and the role of each individual, the benefit to the state, the impact if the trip is denied, whether the goal of the trip can be met in a less costly manner and whether a traveler's absence will interfere with regularly assigned duties. This Executive Order is part of the Governor's efforts to save money this fiscal year and to cut millions in operational costs next fiscal year. Since taking office, Governor Brown has cut spending in his own office by 25 percent and ordered state agencies and departments to: * Recover millions of dollars in uncollected salary and travel advances; * Stop spending taxpayer dollars on free giveaway and gift items; * Cut state cell phones and the passenger vehicle fleet in half; and * Freeze hiring across state government. Submitted by the office of Gov. Jerry Brown.

********** Published: April 28, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 2