- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A company is reviewing the Kansas government’s budget process as part of its study into how the state can save money, according to officials.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1Ocvaj4 ) that Alvarez & Marsal, which has been hired to perform an efficiency study of the state government, will also examine how Kansas spends money, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Ryckman Jr., R-Olathe, indicated in a post on the Kansas House GOP website.

“One of the least publicized parts of the study’s scope directs A&M; to find strategies to improve the budget process and make it work better for state officials, the legislature, and most importantly, Kansas taxpayers,” Ryckman said.

“A&M; will examine the intricacies at each stage of the current budget process with the help of state employees, identify areas for improvement, and make specific recommendations based upon private and public sector best-practices,” he said.

As lawmakers raised taxes to close a $400 million budget shortfall this past spring, they also approved up to $3 million for the efficiency study. Lawmakers hired A&M; on a $2.6 million contract.

A&M; spokesman Steven Alschuler said in a statement Thursday it was “too soon to prove any specifics” about its examination of budget processes.

“But we are taking a detailed look at the budget process and hope to be able to offer some guidance on best practices used in other states and in the corporate world that might be helpful if adapted for use in Kansas.” He said.

State budget director Shawn Sullivan said he expected to discuss the budget process with A&M; within the next few weeks. He said he expects the company to review existing processes against what the association has identified as best practices.

“I look forward to this analysis,” Sullivan said.

A&M; is expected to present its report to the Legislature in early 2016.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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