Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Government Reform" On the Table

Adam Wilson of the Olympian has the story:

"In a meeting with The Olympian's editorial board Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Chris Gregoire outlined some rather ambitious plans for future changes in state government.

Ambitious, that is, considering the Legislature started by eliminating a 18 boards and commissions out of hundreds and renamed CTED the Department of Commerce. Most of the savings in the new budget come from reductions in staff and service.

Gregoire defended the action as an important start, and said lawmakers now want to establish a process to determine which residential treatment centers could be shut down, similar to one used by the military to pick bases for closure.

'We're looking at consolidating all the natural resource agencies; asking, can it, should it be done,' she added.

She also outlined an attorney-general style information technology service, in which a state chief information officer would assign staff to assist agencies, replacing the in-house functions now used.

Functions like motor pool, personnel support and real estate services could follow a similar model, Gregoire said. She’s counting on a review of state government by State Auditor Brian Sonntag to guide some of those decisions.

'That's in part why I did not take all of the cuts from the auditor’s office,' she said."

It's going to be critical for our members to be engaged in these discussions over the summer and fall. It looks like we have our work cut out for us. -- Dennis

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