O'Mara: keep going with crackdown on government waste

Thomas F. O'Mara

April 29, 2011

Albany, N.Y., April 29—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) responded to today’s news reports that the Cuomo administration is uncovering “massive waste” in New York government by urging the administration to keep leading the way on turning the page on the state’s fiscal practices.

“We’ve long suspected that out-of-control and out-of-sight spending has undermined the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the state bureaucracy,” said O’Mara.  “Now we’re beginning to find out that’s exactly the case.  There can be no turning back on uncovering the waste and abuses.  The taxpayers deserve this long-overdue accounting.”

The New York Times reported this morning that a series of Cuomo administration audits over the past several months are revealing that state government operations “are plagued by waste and often bewildering inefficiency.”  The Times reported that the audits are nearly complete and could yield more than $1 billion in savings over the next several years.

According to a similar report in today’s New York Post, the audits could produce approximately $50 million in immediate savings.  The Post story included the following quote from Howard Glaser, the governor’s director of state operations who’s leading the efficiency probes, “There is no end to the horror stories.”

Since the enactment of this year’s state budget back on April 1st, O’Mara has been urging state leaders to remain focused on reining in state spending.  He’s been strongly supportive of the newly created Spending and Government Efficiency  (SAGE) Commission, first proposed by the governor and included as part of this year’s state budget, which will receive the final audits and is charged with leading the first major overhaul of the state bureaucracy since the late 1920’s.

In recent days, O’Mara has specifically pinpointed and called for more aggressive efforts to eliminate abuse, fraud, and waste within New York’s system of Medicaid.  He’s proposed legislation in the Senate to encourage the more widespread use of data mining computer software developed by the Horseheads-based Salient Corporation that’s proven successful at identifying fraud and other abuses and inefficiencies, and can point the way toward strengthening the system’s overall management.

“We need to get our own house in order.  I can’t do enough to encourage this focus and these initiatives to root out the waste, inefficiencies and mismanagement that have clearly taken hold of state government in too many places and across too many operations,” said O’Mara.