May 1, 1963.
Honorable William S. James
President of the Senate
Dear Mr. President:
In accordance with the provisions of Article 2, Section 17, of the
Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed Senate Bill 320, and am
returning this Bill to you accompanied by my veto message.
The Bill would require the State Auditor to compile information
regarding motor vehicles purchased by the State for use by the vari-
ous departments, agencies and boards. This information would in-
clude the propriety and necessity for use, the possible excessive use
and the cost of operation. The Auditor would make his findings
available to the Governor and General Assembly along with recom-
mendations for controlling and curtailing the acquisition and use
of such motor vehicles.
I can appreciate the desire on the part of members of the General
Assembly to eliminate any unnecessary use of motor vehicles by
State officials and employees. Certainly, every effort should be made
to eliminate unnecessary cost wherever possible.
However, the State Auditor has advised me that the provisions
of the Bill would add materially to the work load of his office. He
further advises that if such an increase in the work load is not ac-
companied by provisions for an increase in his staff, the result will
be a slowing down or reversal of the progress that is being made to
place the work of this office on a current basis.
The Bill would also require the State Auditor to enter into three
areas in which it has not functioned in the past:
1—The compilations of "cost of operation" statistics will require
the accumulation of extensive data whereas, the function of the
State Auditor's office in the past has been one of auditing the
records of the other agencies of the State.
2—The determination of "the propriety and necessity for use"
is an administrative function rather than one of fact finding and
reporting to which the State Auditor's office has been restricted
in the past.
3—The determination of "possible excessive use" would require
the State Auditor's office to assume an investigative function in
addition to examining financial records.
It should be pointed out that the Chief Deputy Comptroller is in
agreement with the State Auditor regarding this Bill. It is his belief
that the State Auditor should not be placed in the position of having
to make expert findings in fields in which neither he nor his staff are
qualified as experts.
The State Auditor is in the process of compiling a report regard-
ing the number and use of State motor vehicles based on data fur-
nished by the Vice-Chairman of the House Ways and Means Com-
mittee. This report will include certain recommendations regarding
the various areas that should be considered in effecting satisfactory
control over the cost and use of State automobiles.