APS CFO Needs 4 Administrative Assistants? Tar & Feathers!

As I have noted, financial discipline starts at the top and the leadership of the CFO is critical to the effort. What a disappointment to see the FY13 Budget for CFO Burbridge includes two additional Administrative Assistants (for a total of 4). These additions bring his personal staff up to six. Oh, and the Office also has an Administrative Manager and a Deputy CFO. This level of staffing is offensive!

Mr. Burbridge – please follow the example Superintendent Davis has set and reduce your personal staff to the Deputy CFO and one Admin Assistant – and get rid of the rest.

And is the proposed budget for his Office in error as well? All the positions on-board in FY12 remain in FY13 and two new positions are added – but Salaries and Employee Benefits decrease by 14.6%. How does that math work? My sense is that there is an error here – we will see.

Now let’s look at a couple of other items to see if maybe “fiscal discipline” applies in other areas. Over the last couple of budget cycles a lot of dollars shifted between the Professional Services, Other Purchased Services and Supplies & Materials accounts, so it easier to see what is happening by combining the amounts. The view is not pretty.

For these three accounts, the original FY12 Budget was $471k, but then the CFO’s budget for these accounts was amended upward to $1.5 million for FY12 – a whopping 218% increase. And the FY13 Proposed Budget of $859k for these accounts is a $388k increase over the FY12 Budget approved last year. While this represents a reduction from the FY12 Amended Budget, it is still an 82% increase over the FY12 Approved Budget. There is either a major problem here in restraining spending or the CFO can’t properly forecast his spending. Which is it?

If I were one of the employees being let go this year, my first point of attack would be the CFO’s FY13 Budget – and I would bring copious quantities of tar and feathers to the meeting!

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