Saturday, August 26, 2006

The BMV and Secretary of State

An Indiana legislator recently proposed the idea of placing the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) under the authority of the Secretary of State's office. The idea has some merit. The BMV was under the Secretary of State until 1953.

The BMV's performance has left many Hoosiers dissatisfied and irritated. The BMV is currently under the authority of the Governor. Some will argue that those dissatisfied with BMV performance can show their displeasure by casting a vote for someone other than the incumbent.

That's true, but it is a stronger argument that because the Governor oversees so much, because BMV performance is just one small aspect of a very large job, the Governor is really very unlikely to be held accountable for BMV performance.

Secretary of State is accountable for just three items to-date: elections, busines services, and securities. Adding a fourth area of oversight should not overwhelm a competent manager. Returning the BMV to the Secretary of State would make that office more visible, which is a good thing. Citizens should be more aware of what the Secretary of State manages.

Most importantly, returning the BMV to Secretary of State oversight would result in a greater opportunity for accountability for its performance. This makes it worth doing.

Hoosiers deserve government that is accountable. Elect me, Mike Kole, as Indiana Secretary of State. I will be accountable.