The operation of the newly devised systems of centralized control in state government has naturally raised many questions of the relative duties and responsibilities of department and bureau officials on the one hand and of the supervising and controlling authorities on the other. The process of change from an established method of conducting public business to another, based on different principles and requiring new obligations on the part of officers expending money is bound to be a period of readjustment accompanied by a certain amount of friction. This will be the more certain as the new system differs more widely from the old and restricts more completely the freedom of action formerly reserved to heads of the various state services.
The establishment of the state board of public affairs in Wisconsin in 1911, the enactment of the Civil Code in Illinois in 1917, the enactment of the Ohio Civil Code in 1921, and the legislation of Massachusetts culminating in the creation of the board of administration and finance, all made wide departures from the system of administration hitherto in operation. The essential characteristic introduced in each case was the imposition of an agency of review, of supervision, and in many respects of control upon officers and commissions who had hitherto conducted the work of their respective offices for the most part subject only to the necessity of securing approval of their expenditures by the auditor or controller.
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