Today Commissioner Ron Sparks announced that he will sign an executive order prohibiting all members of the governor's staff from accepting anything of value from a registered lobbyist.
“When I am governor no member of the governor's staff will be allowed to take anything of value, not even a Coca-Cola,” Sparks said. “We work for the people of Alabama and they deserve a government free of conflicts of interests and influence peddling, and that is exactly what I plan to give them. It is past time we started cleaning up Montgomery.”
Sparks also announced he will require people who lobby the executive branch to register in the same way that people who lobby the legislative branch are required to register.
This will enable the public to see who is trying to influence the executive branch and for which interest group.
“In the last seven years the state of Alabama has issued $2.7 billion in no-bid contracts, many in the executive branch, yet none of the lobbyists who obtained those contracts had to register. That is wrong and I will fix it. With these proposals in place we can make sure the executive branch in Alabama is one of the most transparent in state government and make sure no outside influences exert control on the governor's office.
“The people of Alabama need to know the governor's staff won't take gifts or be influenced by special interests,” Sparks said.
Sparks has already proposed several government reform measures, which include:
• Hire an Inspector General within the governor's staff to find fraud and recover money and who will work closely with state employees.
• Stop the abuse of no-bid contracts.
• During proration, the Governor, his appointed staff members on his staff and every cabinet member will cut their salaries at the same level of proration.
• Zero-based budgeting – where every department will be reviewed for the amount of money they need, not just what they want.
These measures will save the taxpayers money by stopping waste in government and making sure the people of Alabama know their government is doing everything it can to stop spending in these harsh economic times.