(a) The Legislature finds an examination of administration of the state's centralized accounting system is warranted to determine whether improvements are necessary to obtain optimal function and economical operation of the system, including, but not limited to, whether a transfer of responsibility for administration of the system is warranted or indicated to reach those ends. It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature that appropriate public officials conduct a study of the centralized accounting system and provide the results of the study and any recommendations indicated for the improvement of the system to the Legislature for its consideration.
(b) The Secretary of the Department of Administration, the Secretary of the Department of Revenue, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the state Treasurer and the Auditor of the state shall conduct a study of the centralized accounting system for the purposes specified in subsection (a) of this section and for such other related purposes as they may agree are advisable. The study shall include the examination of the centralized accounting system by an independent consultant agreed upon by the Secretary of the Department of Administration and the Secretary of the Department of Revenue after consultation with the remainder of the public officials designated in this section to conduct the study. A report of the study and any resulting recommendations made by the public officials designated by this section to conduct the study shall be submitted to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on or before December 1, 2005, and shall include the written report and any recommendations of the independent consultant.