Florida TaxWatch releases annual cost savings recommendations calling for updating accounting system and pension reform

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Florida TaxWatch, the private sector non-partisan watchdog on government spending, has developed a metric to measure effective governance.

TaxWatch Thursday released its annual report on potential cost savings in state government spending. The initiative began during the Great Recession and now that the economy is growing the report’s focus has switched to government efficiency.

“As defined in the report as the intersection of cost avoidance, targeted investments and effective governance,” said Robert Weissert, TaxWatch’s Chief Research Officer.

The TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency developed 20 recommendations based on one or more of those measurements it says would provide billions of dollars in savings if implemented by the 2015 Legislature.

Among other ideas, the group recommends updating the state’s accounting infrastructure.

“The FLAIR system (Florida Accounting Information Resource) dates back to when Microsoft and Apple were founded,” said Weissert. “Yet it handles Florida’s $90 billion of transactions annually.”

The report includes recommendations in seven other policy areas including pensions, facility management, justice and procurement.

Unlike in previous years, the report does not include a bottom line figure on savings.

“This effort is larger than a single number,” explained Weissert. “The goal is government efficiency.”

The recommendations are here.