Committee for the Investigation of State Governmental Units

Entity: 3192
Entity Type: State Government


On February 13, 1937 a resolution was passed by the state legislature to appropriate ten thousand dollars for the creation of a Legislative Investigating Committee. The committee was to investigate the handling of public funds.

Biography/History Notes

The stated purpose was to "investigate the departments of state government with the thought of increasing efficiency and economy in the handling of public funds." (Laws of Utah 1937, H.J.R. No. 8) As a joint legislative committee, it held numerous hearings where members questioned representatives of various state organizations and public utilities about costs, duties and functions. According to their report to the legislature and governor, a notice was placed in local newspapers soliciting complaints and commendations of any state departments that needed investigating. A final list of six departments to investigate based on responses to this notice included the Liquor Control Commission, State Land Board, Public Service Commission, Department of Supplies and Purchase, State Tax Commission and the Department of Insurance. With weeks of hearings, testimony and 2,000 pages of transcripts behind them, the committee turned in their report of conclusions and recommendations March 8, 1937.

The committee consisted of five members of the Senate and seven from the House of Representatives. The available evidence does not indicate a Chairman for the committee, appointed or elected. Members themselves were appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

As a joint legislative committee conducting their investigation between February 9 and March 8, it was similar to the very first Committee of Nine (COMMITTEE TO STUDY OPERATIONS OF STATE GOVERNMENT Agency#437) that existed in 1933.

In the aftermath of turning in their report to the governor and legislature, due to "persistent rumors and/or the report of a recent legislative investigating committee have cast reflections upon members of the legislature...suggesting illegal, improper and unethical acts on their part," a joint resolution was passed to form a committee of five citizens to investigate such charges (Laws of Utah 1937, H.J.R. No. 16). Their report was to be completed by June 1, 1937.