South Carolina has a unique government administrative mechanism called the Budget and Control Board (BCB). From the BCB website:
The South Carolina Budget and Control Board plays a key role in the general management of state government. This institution is unique to South Carolina and provides a broad array of services to other parts of the public sector as well as administrative and regulatory functions.
There are six BCB divisions that control state functions from Human Resources to facilities, vehicles and property to various retirement systems insurance funds, procurement and information technology. [See the list below]
The BCB is a powerful entity is South Carolina. It’s a force within the walls that makes policy through the might of money. This influence is why three particular elections are so important to Palmetto State voters.
Of the five board members, three are elected state-wide: Governor, Treasurer and Comptroller General. Here is where the people of the state have representatives in this critical policy body.
The races for Governor and Treasurer are heavily covered campaigns, but that of Comptroller not so much.
The Comptroller General is the state’s chief accountant and administers the annual budget that’s passed by the legislature. Only the legislature can authorize spending and nothing can be spent without legislative budget appropriation. The CG is bound by law to make sure that agencies spend every dollar only as mandated by the legislature.
The place where the Comptroller General DOES have a voice in how state dollars are spent is on the Budget & Control Board. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom – running for re-election – has been the only Board member willing to stand with Mark Sanford and vote against spending on unnecessary, pork-laden construction projects, satellite campus expansions for higher education, long-term bonded indebtedness, and the like.
Although EVERY office at every level is very important, it is particularly necessary for voters to take great care in selecting the right people for Governor, Treasurer and Comptroller General. These three people will have the opportunity to get control of the people’s money and put it to work for the right reasons and stop it from being squandered through the usual practices of legislative earmarks and crony-directed payouts.
To paraphrase myself, the votes of these three office holders on the Budget and Control Board are critical if true fiscal and even social reform will ever happen in the Palmetto State. To have the best chance to oversee (and over-ride) South Carolina’s status-quo General Assembly, it is my opinion that the “necessary three” are:
Governor – Nikki Haley
Treasurer – Curtis Loftis
Comptroller General – Richard Eckstrom
BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD DIVISIONS
Budget and Analyses
- Office of State Budget
- Board of Economic Advisors
- Office of Human Resources
- Office of Research and Statistics
- Confederate Relic Room
- Mail Services – Providing low-cost statewide mail services.
- Printing Services – Providing quality, efficient, and timely printing services statewide. –
- Surplus Property – Disposal and redistribution of Federal and State surplus property.
- Vehicles – Long and short-term leasing of vehicles, maintenance services, and vehicle safety training.
- Real Property Services – Leasing, purchasing, and selling.
- Parking Services – Management of parking facilities in and around the Capitol Complex.
- Facilities Maintenance – Operation and renovation of State owned and operated buildings statewide.
- South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS)
- Police Officers Retirement System (PORS)
- General Assembly Retirement System (GARS)
- Judges and Solicitors Retirement System (JSRS)
- National Guard Retirement System (NGRS)
- State Optional Retirement System
Insurance and Grants Services
State Information Technology
- Sets the direction for the State’s use of technology and
- Supports the provision, use and administration of information technology (IT) in government.