Quietly but steadily state government in Connecticut is getting leaner, greener, and even user-friendlier. It’s a culture change that’s making Connecticut more responsive to businesses and more responsible to taxpayers, says Governor Malloy.
This week, the governor released the latest report of what state agencies are doing to streamline their operations and make more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Called Continuous Improvement in Connecticut State Government, the hefty 84-page report from the Office of Policy and Management is truly a catalog of streamlining efforts launched and the results anticipated or in the books.
“We have continued to modernize state government,” said Gov. Malloy. “From energy retrofits to reducing permit processing time from months to days, this report offers a broad look at quantifiable savings over last year – demonstrating that we’re doing a better job of serving taxpayers.”
Among the many improvements businesses will be interested to see—or may already be realizing—are these from the report:
- Using a Lean process, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) broke a logjam in industrial storm water general permits. DEEP also is saving $1.84 million per year through reduced state energy bills as a result of energy retrofits via the “Lead by Example” program.
- The Department of Labor (DOL), in partnership with the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, created the Unemployment Compensation Fraud Unit, recovering over $400,000 in unemployment insurance overpayments and preventing about $100,000 weekly in fraudulent payments. The program also has led to 18 arrests.
- DOL also Leaned its unemployment insurance tax notices to get them to employers before the start of the new year—much earlier than before.
- The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has reviewed, renegotiated or rebid statewide contracts for goods and services to the tune of more than $18 million savings in FY 2013 alone.
- DECD is implementing an online CTNEXT Contact Relationship Management System to improve Connecticut Innovations and DECD data projects and share information across their platforms. DECD said that “entrepreneurs often talk about receiving help that is significantly more energetic, respectful, and capable, with a sense of urgency in other states. To compete, we must change our culture of customer service for businesses seeking help.”
CBIA has been encouraging state government to achieve that culture change—to find ways to produce and deliver services better and more cost effectively. In our Turning the Tide report released earlier this year, we discussed several big-ticket budget items in need of streamlining and perhaps the application of best practices from other states.
There’s more work to be done, but this report shows that state government is also making smaller organic and cultural changes that should benefit taxpayers and Connecticut’s business climate—if our state agencies keep at it.