The Controlling Board was first created in the General Appropriations Act of
1917. Until 1969, the Board consisted of the governor, the attorney general, the
auditor and the chairpersons of the Ohio House and Senate Finance Committees.
Its original composition, involving three statewide elected officials from the
executive branch as well as a representative of each legislative chamber,
dispersed the authority and required consensus to make decisions on matters over
which the Board had authority (primarily minor budget changes and waivers of
competitive selection). In fact, four votes (a supermajority) were required to
approve appropriations transfers.
In 1969, the composition of the Board was altered almost to its present form with
seven members. The governor was referenced as the chairman, although the law
allowed the Director of Finance or an employee of the Department of Finance
appointed by the governor to preside over the Board. The Department of Finance
was the predecessor to the current Office of Budget and Management. In
addition, the two finance committee chairpersons as well as one majority and one
minority member from each legislative chamber appointed by the leader of each
chamber made up the membership of the Board.
In 1975, the 111th General Assembly established the Board in statute. It was at this time that the Director of
Finance or his or her designee was specified as President of the Board.
In 1917, the primary duties of the Board were similar to the current duties in
transferring appropriation authority between line items within an agency and
granting waivers of competitive selection. (In those days, appropriations were
more detailed than they are today.) Appropriations transfers required a
supermajority of five members to be approved. Waivers only required a simple
majority of the Board.
Over its history, the Board has been viewed as a convenient way to exercise
legislative oversight of executive actions. Thus the powers of the Board have
been expanded into areas beyond those contained in the Board's original
authorization. Recent history demonstrates that the Board's authority often is
expanded as a reaction to the legislature's perceptions of inappropriate behavior
on the part of the executive branch.
The last significant expansion of Controlling
Board authority was made to include all leases above a certain threshold dollar
value made by state government.This change was made in reaction to the
scandal at the time surrounding perceived political favoritism in the awarding of
telecommunication equipment lease/purchases. More detail about the array of
Controlling Board duties can be found in other sections of this manual.