Last night after Gov. Kay Ivey’s State of the State address, Bill Poole, Alabama’s top finance official, spoke with Yellowhammer News about his leadership in the ARPA planning and delivery process. As money is transferred from the federal to state level, he said other states have expended significant resources to outside firms and consultants — which ultimately reduce the benefit received by the taxpayer.
“In Alabama, that figure is essentially under 1%. We did not hire external consultants like a lot of states did, no big law firms, no big D.C. consulting firms,” he said. “We did not absorb the major administrative costs. We were really pleased to hold the administrative costs as low as anybody in the country.”
This is not the first time Poole has had a leadership role in the process. Last year, the legislature overwhelmingly passed a $772 million ARPA appropriation package, during which Poole also served as state finance director.
“We knew what the targets were. The Legislature passed an excellent bill, gave clear instructions. We deployed the funds as quickly as possible. We had most of the funds out within 60 to 90 days,” he said.
What that means for the current moment, as lawmakers in Montgomery perform the same job for remaining funds, he says, “Moving quickly and efficiently, we’ve had no negative audit findings … We’ve had a clean, transparent, efficient process — so that’s the goal.”