Committees vote to eliminate Assistant Controller position
Both legislative money committees have now voted to back the elimination of what Controller Ron Knecht says is an important position in his office — the Assistant Controller.
That post is currently held by Geoffrey Lawrence and, according to Knecht, directs the office’s financial reporting operations.
The position was eliminated by the 2011 Legislature as a budget reduction measure. When it was restored in 2013, it’s primary responsibility was to improve debt collection operations in the office.
Knecht changed the function of the position in 2016 to focus on financial reporting issues. Knecht has argued that not having the post could leave the controller’s office in jeopardy of not receiving the certificate for excellence in financial reporting, which it has been awarded for the past 17 years. But legislative analysts say the office did receive that certificate for both the years when it didn’t have the assistant controller post.
Elimination of the position was recommended in the governor’s budget and supported earlier by the Senate Finance Committee. The recommendation won approval on Monday by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee after members were told restoring it would require adding $231,618 to the controller’s budget, nearly all of it General Fund money.