Presentation on theme: "AAA Government and Non-Profit Section Larita J. Killian, Ed.D., CPA Indiana University at Columbus."— Presentation transcript:
AAA Government and Non-Profit Section Larita J. Killian, Ed.D., CPA Indiana University at Columbus
Growth of special districts Major advances in performance reporting and accountability Why special districts are a concern Disconnect: Indiana example Suggested research agenda
US Census Bureau criteria Exist as organized entity Governmental character Substantial autonomy Plus 7 disqualifiers
Small – cemeteries and diking districts Large -ports, regional utilities and transportation systems Over 90% serve a single function Multiple functions often relate to water Most common = Natural resources Flood control, irrigation, conservation Second most common – Fire districts Source: US Census Bureau Census of Governments, 2002, Volume 1, Government Organization
284% increase in special districts 12,340 (1952) to 35,052 (2002) Opposite trend for other government forms Lessons learned NOT homogenous subject Diverse in scope and financing Source: US Census Bureau Census of Governments, 2002, Volume 1, Government Organization
Source of data: US Census Bureau Census of Governments, 2002, Volume 1, Government Organization
1987 The taxpayer has a right to know 1994 SEA reporting …to provide more complete information about an entitys performance 2003 Suggested Criteria for performance reporting
SEA awards Certificate of Excellence in Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting No special districts among 15 winners, some repeats (caveat) Citizen-Centric reporting program Encourages and publishes 4-page reports that answer, Are we better off today than we were last year? A debatable advance
Outlays by National Objective (in billions) To establish justice % To ensure domestic tranquility % To provide for the common defense % To promote the general welfare 1, % To secure the blessings of liberty % Total Outlays – Accrual Basis $2, % Unofficial report prepared by Financial Management Services, Inc
American Accounting Association Slaon Foundation International City/County Management Association IBM Endowment for the Business of Government
Less visible and less responsive to general public Some consider this a positive value Ability to incur debt and other long-term liabilities away from public view
Too many entities issuing too much debt. Grady Patterson, former So. Caroline Treasurer When government becomes more cumbersome, redundant and complex, both accountability and efficiency suffer. ICLGR, 2007
Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform Gov. Mitch Daniels Focus on Townships Final report 12/2007 Recommend changes to structure, organization, and number of local government units to achieve efficiencies and reduce financial burden.
Redundancy, overlapping jurisdictions, and confused lines of government authority impede efficiency and the basic ability of citizens to hold government accountable. We have spent the last six months asking whether Indianas patchwork of local government delivers the most effective service at the lowest possible expense. The answer is NO.
Moreover, it is all so complicated that voters and taxpayers have an extremely difficult time maneuvering their way through the maze and making their will felt. Only elected officials should have the power to levy taxes.
When it comes to local government in Indiana, few of us know where the buck stops. Our many complex layers of government are often difficult to understand, monitor and hold accountable.
Type Number Townships 1,008 Special Districts886 Towns451 Schools293 Libraries239 Cities117 Counties 92
ICLGR Report Townships 1,008 Special Districts886 Towns451 Schools293 Libraries239 Cities117 Counties 92 With Census Classification Townships 1,008 Special Districts 1,125 Towns 451 Schools 293 Cities 117 Counties 92
What local factors mitigate for - against creation of special districts? Almost all local government services in New York City are classified as part of the city government (the school system, several libraries, transit, and so forth). There are more than 100 dependent agencies in New York City alone. By contrast, many of these services in Chicago are classified as functions of independent school district or special district governments. Source of data: US Census Bureau Census of Governments, 2002, Volume 1, Government Organization
Do performance reporting practices of special districts differ by subtype? Recommend improvements
What is the publics level of awareness of special districts as compared to general purpose districts? Are special districts truly less visible and less subject to competitive political processes?
Are services more or less costly when performed by special district governments as compared to general purpose governments ?
How does the growth of special district governments impact overall governmental accountability?
Larita J. Killian. Ed.D., CPA Indiana University at Columbus