The new governor has put together a team of volunteers from the public and private sectors to conduct a department-by-department audit of state spending.

    In one of his first acts as governor, Jack Markell initiated a sweeping and comprehensive review of spending in all departments of Delaware state government.

    Markell said the Delaware Government Performance Review would be conducted by a team of auditors from the public and private sectors, including executives from Delaware-based companies like DuPont and Barclays Bank.

    The review, led by Office of Management and Budget Director Ann Visalli, will examine the goals and responsibilities of each department to determine their cost-effectiveness.

    Reviewers also will interview state employees and hear their ideas for saving money and improving efficiency in their offices.

    The process will take about four months, Markell said, and cost taxpayers virtually nothing because the members of the review team are volunteers.

    Suzanne Peck, a longtime associate of Markell’s and current chief information officer with the Washington (D.C.) Area Metropolitan Transit Authority, also has volunteered to help lead the review.

    Peck is a Delaware native and helped conduct a similar review of spending in Pennsylvania, according to a release from the governor’s office.

    “It’s really important that we send a signal that we’re going to leave no stone unturned when we’re looking for savings,” Markell said in a telephone interview.

    During his campaign for governor, Markell pledged fiscal responsibility and an audit of state spending. A former state treasurer, banker and entrepreneur, Markell said he’s approaching the state’s financial problems with the mind of a CEO.

    “I think that as a new executive, whether it be in business or whatever, it is important to review these things,” he said. “I think it’s important to have fresh eyes.”

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