FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are you called the Little Hoover Commission?
2. Is the Commission a state agency?
3. How does the Commission differ from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Bureau of State Audits and other organizations that analyze state programs?
4. How are the Commissioners selected?
5. How does the Commission select study topics?
6. How does the Commission develop its recommendations?
7. What happens once a report is released?
8. How can I suggest a study topic for the Commission?
9. How can I participate?
10. Can I watch a Commission meeting on-line?
11. How can I contact a Commissioner?
12. How can I order a report?

  1. Why are you called the Little Hoover Commission?

California’s Little Hoover Commission was modeled after the federal Hoover Commission, created in 1947 to study and make specific recommendations to improve the organizational structure of the executive branch.  The Hoover Commission was bipartisan, with members appointed by the Congress and President to represent the legislative and executive branches and the public and private sector.  Former President Herbert Hoover served as the first chair and oversaw a staff of about 300.  The commission was organized into 24 task forces that studied both government functions, such as records management and regulatory activities, or specific activities, such as veteran’s affairs and public welfare.  Staff were drawn from business, accounting firms and management consultants, reflecting the commission’s action-oriented nature. 

  1. Is the Commission a state agency?

Yes, the Commission, formally known as the Milton Marks "Little Hoover" Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, was created in 1962 as an independent and bipartisan state agency charged with making recommendations to the governor and Legislature on ways to make state programs more efficient and effective. The Commission’s creation and membership, purpose and duties and powers are enumerated in statute. 

  1. How does the Commission differ from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Bureau of State Audits and other organizations that analyze state programs?

The Commission's role differs in three distinct ways from other state and private-sector bodies that analyze state programs:

Unlike fiscal or performance audits, the Commission's studies look beyond whether programs comply with existing requirements, instead exploring how programs could and should function in today's world.

The Commission’s study process serves as an opportunity for the public to provide input to the policy discourse.

The Commission produces in-depth, well-documented reports that serve as a factual basis for crafting effective reform legislation.

Based on its reports, the Commission follows through with legislation to implement its recommendations, building coalitions, testifying at hearings and providing technical support to policy-makers.

  1. How are the Commissioners selected?

The Commission is comprised of nine public members and four legislators.  The governor appoints five of the public members.  The Speaker of the Assembly appoints two public members and two Assemblymembers.  The Senate Rules Committee appoints two public members and two Senators.

The Commission is bipartisan by statute.  No more than five of the public members can be of the same political party.  The two Assemblymembers and the two Senators must be from different parties.

Public members serve staggered, four-year terms.  Legislative members serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

  1. How does the Commission select study topics?

The full Commission selects study topics that come to its attention from citizens, legislators and other sources.  In addition, the Commission has a statutory obligation to review and make recommendations on proposed government reorganization plans.

Under the direction of a subcommittee of Commissioners, staff conducts research by bringing key players together for discussions, contacting experts, reviewing academic literature and interviewing those most closely affected by the targeted topic.

Based on preliminary research, the subcommittee identifies key issues and oversees the creation of public hearings to explore all sides of the issues in an open setting.  The public hearings serve to inform the Commissioners and educate the legislators, the public and the media about the problem areas.  

  1. How does the Commission develop its recommendations?

Following the public hearings and other public meetings, the subcommittee develops recommendations that focus on the key issues and forwards a draft report to the full Commission for its consideration.  The Commission, as a whole, may make changes before adopting and releasing the final report.

  1. What happens once a report is released?

The Commission works with legislators and the governor and other interested parties to implement recommendations.  In addition, the Commission actively supports legislation that would implement a Commission recommendation.

  1. How can I suggest a study topic for the Commission?

Please send a letter addressed to the chairman of the Commission that describes the issue you would like the Commission to consider.  Please keep in mind that the Commission generally studies programs or policies of the executive branch of government.  The letter should describe how the state is involved in the issue, and give some indication of how the Commission’s study process could help resolve the issue.

Please address the letter to the Commission’s office, located at:

Little Hoover Commission
925 L Street, Suite 805
Sacramento, CA  95814

  1. How can I participate?

Little Hoover Commission meetings conform to the standards set out in the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.  Meeting notices are posted on the Commission's meetings page.

At each hearing, there is an opportunity for public comment following the testimony of the scheduled witnesses.  Additionally, individuals or organizations may submit written testimony to the Commission.

  1. Can I watch a Commission meeting on-line?

Frequently, the Commission partners with the California Channel to show Commission hearings via webcast.  Please visit the California Channel’s Web page to access archived hearings.  Commission meetings are not transcribed.

  1. How can I contact a Commissioner?

Please direct all communications to Commissioners to the Commission office:

Little Hoover Commission
925 L Street, Suite 805
Sacramento, CA  95814
Phone: (916) 445-2125
Fax: (916) 322-7709
Email: littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov

  1. How can I order a report?

Commission reports can be downloaded free from this Web site.  All reports published since 1999 are available in PDF format.  Some earlier reports are available in HTML and Word Perfect formats.  To view reports in PDF format, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Some graphics, charts and tables contained in reports prior to 1999 are not accessible.  If you want a complete copy of a report with all of the charts included, or a copy of a report not accessible on this Web site, send the request via the Electronic Order Form

You may also send requests to the Commission office:

Little Hoover Commission
925 L Street, Suite 805
Sacramento, CA  95814
Phone: (916) 445-2125
Fax: (916) 322-7709
Email: littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov