While some people just talk about government reform, Pat Browne has been leading the effort.

Pat has led in advocating for and introducing legislation to reform how government operates and to provide more transparency in state government to taxpayers.

Independent Fiscal Office

Pat sponsored a bill that established an Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), a non-partisan bi-cameral agency with expertise in financial matters. The IFO serves as a “watchdog” over legislative budget affairs, providing objective information on program performance and ensuring the efficient utilization of taxpayer resources. The duties of the IFO include:

  • Preparing revenue estimates for Federal funds, State revenues and any other funds. It must include any projected surplus or deficit for a given fiscal year.
  • Providing an assessment of the Commonwealth’s current and projected fiscal condition by November 15 of each year and a projection of what the fiscal condition will be during the next five years.
  • Developing performance measures for various executive departments and programs.
  • Analyzing all tax and revenue proposals, including their economic impact, submitted by the Governor or the Office of the Budget.

The IFO has become a universally-accepted independent provider of objective financial   information for all of state government in budgeting and financial reform.


With an interest in providing transparency for taxpayers and expanded access to state spending records, Pat authored legislation that created the Pennsylvania Web Accountability and Transparency (PennWATCH) Act, which expanded the public’s access to state spending records by creating and maintaining a free, searchable, database-driven budget website. The “PennWatch” website provides annual appropriation information and funding actions or expenditure information for all Commonwealth agencies.

The website also identifies vendors, the amount of funds they received and the state agency initiating the funding actions or expenditure. This legislation has given the public an unprecedented opportunity to fully monitor the fiscal activities of state government.

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