Juel Molloy, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's chief of staff, told the Senate Finance Committee Thursday that portions of the anticipated government reorganization plan would be revealed as commissioners and other agency heads present their individual budget requests before the committee.
Molloy said presentation of the formal reorganization plan is taking longer than expected because gathering information on the operation of different agencies is a painstaking process.
During the process there have been a stream of revelations about padded payrolls, hidden jobs and a lack of sound management, according to Molloy, who appeared before the committee Thursday morning to present the budget request for Government House.
That request, originally $6,303,536, was resubmitted reflecting mandated budget cuts at $5,358,006. She said other government agencies have been directed to roll back their figures accordingly but also to present realistic numbers for what they thought they would need for the coming fiscal year.
"The governor is committed to sending you a budget that will in some way resemble what the government is actually going to do. The allotments and your appropriations don't even resemble each other," she said. "Just take Education, for example. If we were to go fully by what we have before us by now, the Education Department should be making plans to send a lot of people home. Some people shouldn't have been able to come back to school on Wednesday. In the case of the Police Department, that should have been closed already because there's no money to fund them for the rest of the year."
Molloy also painted a grim view for lawmakers on the fiscal crisis, saying through the 23 years she has served in various administrations, she had never seen the V.I. government in the state it is in today.
In responding to Sen. Anne Golden's characterization of the Turnbull administration as a "molasses Administration," Molloy said, "This is the worst thing you can possibly imagine so you cannot compare it with any previous administration over the last 30 years. You have to understand the depth of this mess."
Ira Mills, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said his agency could get along on $2,244,500 and still carry out OMB's mandate. The figure represents about a 5 percent decrease over the original OMB budget submitted in May of $2,327,463.
Mills also outlined other strategic plans to increase OMB's effectiveness by creating an OMB/Finance team to oversee preparation of quarterly financials, improve fiscal responsibility and accountability by delegating more budget control to the departments, implement more training programs to improve productivity, and provide broader dissemination of budget information to enhance understanding of and planning for allocation.
Hearings continue on the FY 2000 budget Friday.