Friday, May 20, 2011

Washington's Agency Consolidation Bill Still Alive

A bill which earlier this year proposed to consolidate Washington's natural resource agencies by joining the administrating function of the departments of Agriculture, Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation and Conservation is still on the table. After taking a several month hiatus to rework the bill, its sponsor Senator Kevin Ranker has reintroduced it. The legislature has until May 24th to pass the law. More information:

1 comment:

Hopspot said...

As I read it, the latest bill has about 5 paragraphs directing the department of agriculture, the department of ecology, the department of fish and wildlife, the department of natural resources, the recreation and conservation office, the Puget Sound partnership, and the state parks and recreation commission to study and implement combined administrative functions and use co-located operational facilities with a maximum of 4 regions for the entire state.
Gone are the specifics covering a new secretary over merged department, and any clarification or changes to the fish and Wildlife Commission.
There are about 50 pages cover the moves of a number of programs between health and ecology.
Most, even marginally, successful mergers take a lot of planning and generally incur significant short term increase in expenses. Perhaps the revised bill is an attempt to go about this in a different manner….
One of the troubles with merged operations is that the cost allocations can be driven as much by who has the budget as by function (cost causation). I for one do not want any of my user fees (license revenue) to go towards the overheads of DNR (who has challenges with fisheries stewardship) or Ecology (who does not think that open net pen fish farms pose any threat to local populations).
Does anyone have a handle on what is going on?