Greater Opportunity Through Innovative Change


Led by Madison Murphy of El Dorado, the Murphy Commission devoted almost three years (1996-1999) to a detailed study of Arkansas state government. More than 100 community leaders and volunteers developed recommendations to make Arkansas government smaller, more cost-effective and more accountable to taxpayers.

The Murphy Commission is a project of the Arkansas Policy Foundation, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization headquartered in Little Rock. The Foundation distributes Commission reports free at its online website (

Arkansas state government will be unable to meet the demands of the 21st Century without a sound rebuilding of its accounting and financial infrastructure. The Commission encouraged adoption of the following recommendations:

  • Performance-based budgeting.
  • Activities-Based Costing (ABC) accounting.
  • A form of compensating state employees that embodies rewards for extraordinary job performance.

The Murphy Commission used 1972 as its benchmark year because the last major reorganization of state government occurred following passage of Act 38 of 1971.

Reports published from 1996 to 1999 by the Murphy Commission include: