State News

Perdue orders a more open administration

Posted January 12, 2009 4:02 a.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2009 7:03 p.m. EST

— North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue got right to work Monday, keeping her promise to make state government more accountable to the voters.

She announced she would participate in a least four town hall meetings to be televised statewide during her term, and she encouraged state residents to submit suggestions and feedback via an online form.

She signed five change orders, all targeting transparency and integrity in government processes.

In one of her first acts, Perdue changed the way road projects are planned and approved.

The new governor signed an executive order requiring a new "professional" approval process for construction projects be implemented within 60 days. Her order requires that  members of the N.C. Board of Transportation sign statements disclosing potential conflicts of interest and refrain from acting on projects where a conflict is present.

"We're shaking up the way North Carolina does business," Perdue said. She has asked that every state document and contract be made available on the Web.

She acknowledged the task she faces in trying to force more openness. "The challenge for me is not to shake it up today and them put these change orders in my desk."

Other executive orders signed Monday:

  • Set up a task force to study ways to fund statewide campaigns differently and to counter the public perception of negativity and mistrust in running for governor
  • Outlined how state departments should plan, manage and report on their functions, especially budgeting and strategic planning
  • Ordered that the Office of State Budget and Management provide "a single, searchable Web site on state spending for grants and contracts"
  • Established the North Carolina Budget Report and Advisory Commission to find efficiencies and monitor effectiveness of state spending and programs.

Monday morning, she met with her staff for the first time. In the afternoon, she scheduled time to see her Cabinet sworn into office.