Watchdog committee on hold, awaits Lt. Gov. appointments

The state’s legislative watchdog committee hasn’t met, launched any new investigations or issued any public reports since late last year because Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has failed to make his appointments for the new term.

The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review — or PEER Committee — was created by law in 1973, with the main goal of rooting out inefficiency and waste in state government. It provides the Legislature, and public, with oversight of state government through investigations, performance evaluations and expenditure reviews….

…Reeves was out of state on Tuesday. His spokeswoman Laura Hipp said in a written statement: “The lieutenant governor believes the best use of PEER staff’s time for the first six months of a new term was for them to be working on implementation of performance-based budgeting, individual legislative requests, and those reports required by state law. He very recently met with the director, and I expect he will make his appointments in the very near future.”

“The speaker appointed his members, and that’s where we left it,” said Nathan Wells, chief of staff for Gunn. “There’s definitely some important work they do. They are the investigative arm of the Legislature, and they dive into issues and research that can be very helpful.”

Clarion Ledger
9/13/16