Zeigler chosen as Chairman of Board of Adjustment

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Thursday, January 12, 2017, the Alabama Board of Adjustment (BOA), which decides claims against the State of Alabama, elected State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) as its Chairman.

Because the state of Alabama enjoys sovereign immunity, the State can not be sued in court. A citizen or business who has been damaged by an agency of the State can, however, file a claim for money with the BOA. Zeigler is one of four voting members on the BOA. He has served there for the two years that he has been State Auditor. In case of a tie vote, Zeigler, as chairman, will vote twice to break the tie. Read More

APR’s Top 5 Under-reported stories of 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Over the past year, APR has broken a number of prominent, statewide stories.

While many of those have been picked up by other news outlets – some of them lifted nearly verbatim from APR’s website without attribution – a few stories have gone almost unnoticed and with little follow-up from more traditional outlets.

These stories are important and involve millions of dollars of taxpayer money, abuses of power and manipulations of the systems meant to ensure law and order and justice in the state. Read More

The incomparable cost of gross incompetence

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Chanting the much-ballyhooed mantra of “streamlining government, transparency and efficiency,” the administration of Governor Robert Bentley and the Republican-controlled State House have green-lighted, perhaps, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on failed software systems.

Last Monday, Bentley’s cabinet secretary for the Office of Information Technology (OIT), Dr. Joanne Hale, informed an oversight committee that the CARES software system is still inoperable after nearly four years and $60 million in squandered taxpayers’ money.
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State Employees to Work Overtime, Holidays Due to STAARS Failure

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The State Department of Finance will miss its 13th Accounting Period Deadline because the $47 million dollar software program known as STAARS has maxed-out its user capacity according to State Comptroller Tom White. “Due to STAARS system capacity and ISD user identification issues, agencies have not been able to access and/or enter a large volume of 13th AP or current year transactions. This has affected all agencies ability to enter and approve transactions,” wrote White in a Nov. 5 memo.
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Amid Investigations, Lawsuits, Bentley Appoints New Finance Director

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—After a Federal audit of the State’s Finance Department, which has yet to be made public, Governor Robert Bentley announced, on Friday, that Clinton Carter, the State’s Deputy Finance Director, will step up to serve as the new State Finance Director.

After serving for nearly three years as the Acting Finance Director under Bentley, Bill Newton will not longer be heading Bentley’s Finance Department. Bentley gave no reason for the shake-up but said he was proud to have Clinton back to assume this role.
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Hearing Wednesday in Zeigler’s challenge to Bentley’s $47 million STAARS software

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, September 21, a hearing will be held in a lawsuit challenging Gov. Robert Bentley’s (R) controversial $47 million no-bid contract for the purchase of the ,much maligned STAARS software.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) filed suit alleging that the massive no-bid contract violates Alabama’s bid laws and the software does not work. He is asking that the contract be voided and that the purchase money returned to the State’s General Fund.
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Budget Task Force Leaders Committed to Reform, But Can It Be Achieved?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Tackling budget reform is priority one, according to Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia). Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) called for reforms and voiced his commitment during the recent Special Legislative Session.

During this Session, McCutcheon sponsored and passed JHR62, which establishes a task force with a five-point mandate that will culminate with recommendations for budget reforms to be presented at the beginning of the 2017 Regular Session.
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Gov. Bentley Truthin’ ‘Cause a Truther Gotta Truth

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Gov. Robert Bentley, this Wednesday, informed the press that reports of a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians was “blatantly false.”

Bentley is a “truther.” He loves the truth. He values the truth. His reverence for the truth is so utterly consuming that he always uses it with great economy. Bentley would never tell a lie. That’s why we call him the “Truther.” When the Truther is truthin’, you know you can believe every word.
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STAARS WAARS: May the Source Be With You

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Registering for STAARS takes more technical skills than navigating the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field.

Having some business before the State that requires we register with STAARS, gives us an opportunity to experience, first hand, the workings of this software. Even though we are quite sure that our account will get flagged at the click of the submit button, with bells and sirens blaring throughout the Finance Department, I wanted to get the full STAARS experience. Let’s say we didn’t get off to a great “STAART.”
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