OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma will officially name a new governor on Monday; as Kevin Stitt gears up for his inauguration, he continues to fill out his cabinet, and one of his new hires is a bit out of the norm.
Stitt announced this week Budd will fill a newly-created position in his cabinet as the Secretary of Accountability or State Chief Operating Officer. Budd, a former Sonic executive and efficiency consultant, will have a big role in the new administration.
"I'm so excited about my new COO hire. He is the right guy and he's gonna do a tremendous job."
The hire of the former Sonic executive is part of Stitt's push to bring more efficiency to state government.
"But that's what I needed.. there are 120 different agencies...the COO is going to be running those agencies and making sure he asks the right questions puts those performance metrics in place and we are accountable to Oklahomans for how we are spending their tax dollars," said Stitt.
Stitt's says 9 other states have added a similar position to their executive branches. With his COO, Stitt says he is looking to make major changes, if needed, in order to get Oklahoma running more efficiently and effectively.
Stitt says right now, that's not happening.
"The agencies are able to ignore Executive Orders. They are able to hide pockets of money and that's going to stop in a Stitt administration and one of the reasons it's going to stop is that I'm asking for the authority to hire and fire the agency heads, not to be a bad guy but, to create that accountability that we are all used to," said Stitt.
The hire of a COO follows through on one of Stitt's big campaign promises.
"They wanted a business approach to running state government . I have moved some of the different traditional cabinet positions, I've broken them up and combines some that didn't make sense to me, and I studied Gov. Walters cabinet, Gov Keating and Henry and Fallin and all the different governors to really structure my cabinet the way that I believe we can hold these different boards and commissions and agencies accountable. So it will be a different day for Oklahoma," said Stitt.