Gov. Asa Hutchinson this week signed three executive orders providing recommendations for use of federal infrastructure funds, aligning audits in certain executive branch agencies, and creating the Energy Resources Council to improve coordination and planning during extreme weather and other emergencies that threaten the state’s power and communications grids.

“Each of these Executive Orders will improve coordination and help guide resources within state government,” Hutchinson said. “The Infrastructure Planning Advisory Committee will recommend how to best use our portion of the federal money that is being returned to the state.

“The winter storms in February were a reminder of the toll that a natural disaster can take, which is why I have created the Arkansas Energy Resources Council. The members of the council will facilitate ongoing conversations between state agencies and leaders in the energy sector so that we are as prepared as possible to deal with extreme events that can cause power outages and interfere with communication.

“The third executive order requires certain auditors in cabinet-level departments to report to the Office of Internal Audit. This change will further enhance the integrity of our audits and give taxpayers confidence that state agencies are following the best practices of internal auditors.”