49 Days – Fact Check or truthiness? Disinformation from the AOC

Posted on July 29, 2011

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Generally speaking, we’ve always envied the AOC’s ability to manipulate media outlets to get the story they want to get out at the cost of the truth. Usually, it isn’t even one of Tani’s versions of the truth. Such is the case with the AOC’s recent fact check web pages.

 

Submitted for Consideration – Fact Check on the Judicial Branch budget

If you look at the fact check page established by the AOC, you’re left with the impression that the Judical Branch gets funded with only 2.8% of the general fund in one fancy pie chart and in the fancy pie chart below it, you’re left with the impression that trial courts are just greedy bastards because they get 83.4% of the judicial branch budget and they want more. The lower pie chart makes references on how the AOC divvys the money up between it’s various operating entities.

What is never mentioned of course is clawbacks.

Clawbacks are when you give an entity money or benefits and then you take them back in the form of some special circumstance or service. The costs of CCMS are such a special circumstance or service. SAIC and CCTC costs are such a special circumstance or service. Parts of the Lan/Wan program are such a special circumstance or service. Facilities maintenance and modifications are often such a special circumstance or service.

Crunching the numbers, we estimate that somewhere between 11 and 15% of the entire trial court budget is clawed back from the trial courts by the AOC utilizing any possible method they can rely upon to do so.

Technology program money, for example is clawed back. Facilities maintenance and modifications money is often clawed back. The costs for the people who manage your courts account with the AOC is clawed back. Any product or service they can provide to you and charge you for is clawed back by the AOC and it represents a substantial amount that the trial courts are forced to pay back the AOC every year. These clawbacks aren’t cheap either. We were presented one example that was a clawback for a modification. We’re not going to identify the modification as the individual providing this case example to us indicated that identifying this clawback would lead the AOC to their doorstep, so we’re going to discuss numbers that are close to real.

A facility modification by one of the AOC’s sole-source maintenance contractors cost $50,000.00. The individual providing us the example had obtained their own bids for the work prior to contacting the AOC. Those estimates came in around $25,000.00 for this work to be done. The AOC and not the local court is responsible for this kind of activity so the $50,000.00 was the plan the AOC chose to go with. Out of this $50,000.00, when all was said and done, $50,000.00 was clawed back from the local trial court, yet they had estimates that they could do this work for $25,000.00 less than they were being charged by the AOC.

This is just but one case example of a clawback provided to judicial council watcher but it goes to show that these clawbacks are not insignificant sums. It calls into question exactly what kind of services are provided by the AOC. It spells out that the products and services could be had for less money if all courts had the flexibility to do things on their own.

Clawbacks help fund the juggernaut. Just as SB1407 and SB1732 fuel the juggernaut with hundreds of jobs in the AOC that have no relation to construction, clawbacks also help fuel the juggernaut. Meanwhile you’re left to lay off employees with yet another scheme by the AOC to get you to part with your trial court funds.

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