I came across this article on Taxpayer money being spent on Official Government headshots and the local TV station calling into question that practice. Calling it a "lack of judgement".
Taxpayers foot bill for official Headshots
Granted I have a bias in the subject matter, Professional Headshots, however I do think it is important to raise a point. In the report , "the Administrative Office of District Attorneys Director Valdez, who took over AODA last year, said paying for pricey pictures won't happen under his watch. His portrait was taken on a camera phone for free."You can get fairly good digital pictures now with either iPhones or cameras, it's technology that's readily available, and I think for our purposes, that's sufficient," Valdez said." Let's not even debate the truth of that statement, as others have covered the value involved in a "Professional" vs a Smartphone Portrait relating to image building and Branding.
I ask you in all seriousness to put yourself into the mind of a successful, powerful business person. You are looking to invest or do business with a company with a $15 Billion dollar annual budget. Are you worried about a few thousand dollars spent to portray a quality corporate image? Or would you rather see the Corporate Headshots resembling the kind of pictures you see on Facebook? Why spend the money on a corporate logo at all? Some kid would do it for free. Why do you need a logo any way. Why not get rid of everything that someone would do for "free". Pilots, mechanics, Bus drivers, Air Traffic Controllers, Doctors, Heck why not Director for the AODA!! I'm sure lots of people would gladly do these things for free.
The report says the State spent $34,000 on Professional Headshots from 2009 to present. The annual budget for the state of New Mexico was $14.9 BILLION dollars for the Fiscal year 2010. That is less that .000022% for ONE year of the New Mexico state budget. Remember too that $34,000 is for 5 years not one.
Surely there are other areas to save monies. I mean how much salary for time spent working did AODA Director Valdez earn while being interviewed for this report? I'm guessing he wasn't adminstrating to the District Attorneys during the interview. Governments waste tax payers money all the time. Is it right? No, of course not but this seems like a poor expense to create a stir over. How many pens, pencils and paper do employees use in a a year? How many office supplies "wander" home in a year? How many pens get lost in a year? There is a note function on most phones, why not just use that? The "technology is readily available".
While I would agree that in most, if not all governments there is ample room to trim fat and save the general public some money, I would suggest to station KRQE that there could be other areas where "lack of judgement" with state taxpayers' money, would result in far greater savings to the public than headshots.