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Bureaucracy

End Duplication in Government

King Bureaucracy is rather fond of itself; and elected officials don’t normally have the courage to confront it once they have forgotten for whom they work. Still, West Virginia lawmakers could not have gotten a clearer sign that they should eliminate some of the waste in state government by getting rid of the West Virginia Board of Licensed Dietitians.

“… The Board fully duplicates the Commission on Dietetic Registration, which is a national organization over dietitians,” said a report from the West Virginia Legislative Auditor’s Performance Evaluation and Research Division delivered last month. “The Legislative Auditor finds that the Board primarily verifies that West Virginia dietitians are in compliance with the CDR and issues or renews a state credential. The Legislative Auditor concludes that the CDR offers adequate protection to the citizens of the state …”

Language used in the report was unmistakable. “There is no compelling public need” for the board.

Remember the current crop of lawmakers largely rode into office on a wave of promises to eliminate waste and fraud and “right-size” state government. They were going to be good stewards of taxpayer money and eliminate the government bloat that served itself, rather than the people.

Too many of them likely forgot those promises minutes after uttering their oaths of office.

But here is an easy opportunity for them to remember. And it should be just the start. The West Virginia Board of Licensed Dietitians is just one of about 250 boards, commissions, task forces, councils and committees in state government. Many of those perform functions that could seamlessly be folded into the responsibilities of another — if, in fact, they are not already duplicating each other.

Should the advice of the Legislative Auditor not be enough to prompt lawmakers to take this small step toward doing what they promised, voters will have no doubt who those elected officials have chosen to serve.

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