Hutchinson signs 3 executive orders on infrastructure, state audits and power disruption

Politics

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed three executive orders on Monday that provide recommendations for use of federal infrastructure funds, align audits in certain executive branch agencies and create the Energy Resources Council to improve coordination and planning during extreme weather and other emergencies that threaten the state’s power and communications grids.

“Each of these Executive Orders will improve coordination and help guide resources within state government,” Hutchinson said.

The Infrastructure Planning Advisory Committee will recommend how to best use the portion of the federal money that is being returned to the state.

Hutchinson said the winter storms in February were a reminder of the toll that a natural disaster can take, which is why he created the Arkansas Energy Resources Council.

“The members of the council will facilitate ongoing conversations between state agencies and leaders in the energy sector so that we are as prepared as possible to deal with extreme events that can cause power outages and interfere with communication,” Hutchinson said.

The third executive order requires certain auditors in cabinet-level departments to report to the Office of Internal Audit.

These are the three executive orders and an explanation of each:

  • EO 21-19 creates the Infrastructure Planning Advisory Committee. This order creates the Infrastructure Planning Advisory Committee composed of state agency personnel to identify best practices and procedures to ensure the State of Arkansas realizes the maximum relief and benefits available under the Act. 
  • EO 21-20 amends EO 18-01 regarding the Office of Internal Audit. The change will allow for a more consistent audit process throughout the executive branch agencies, additional oversight of the auditing process, and assurance of independence in objectivity and auditing judgment. 
  • EO 21-05 creates the Arkansas Energy Resources Council. The purpose of the task force was to evaluate the ability of Arkansas’s critical energy resources and infrastructure to withstand extreme events. The Council will facilitate technical and policy discussion among regulators and energy stakeholders and will develop and maintain educational materials on best practices regarding preparedness and communication in advance and during events that may disrupt the supply of critical energy resources.

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