Governor Bob McDonnell's Commission on Government Reform & Restructuring voted today on a host of proposals designed to make Virginia's government smaller, simpler and more user-friendly. The votes took place during the Commission's final meeting before officially submitting their endorsed reform recommendations to the Governor on October 15th. The Governor addressed the Commission following the voting. Since its initial meeting in June, the Commission received over 1700 recommendations from members, state employees and citizens. Thus far, the Commission has approved approximately 90 of the recommendations to move forward through the legislative and administrative process. Today the Commission officially voted to approve proposals to privatize ABC; expand telework opportunities for state employees; improve the state's business one-stop practices; and several transportation reforms, including eliminating the Rail Advisory Board.
The official interim report to the governor on October 15th will specifically detail potential savings from all the reforms recommended by the Commission to date. Previous recommendations already endorsed by the Commission include a 4 day-10 hour work week for certain state agencies; better cataloging and disposal of under-utilized real estate; increasing budget transparency; the transfer of certain tax and non-tax fees that are currently not being collected by the Virginia Department of Taxation; and transforming the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) into one stop customer service centers.
Speaking to the Commission following the voting, Governor McDonnell remarked, "When I addressed this Commission in June, I charged you to develop bold, innovative solutions that will make government work more effectively and efficiently for its owners, the citizens of Virginia. You have exceeded expectations. The Commission has made sound recommendations like privatizing the state-run liquor monopoly, cataloging the Commonwealth's real property and assets, expanding options for four day, ten hour work weeks for some state agencies and teleworking for other state employees, and improving customer service for Virginians. I thank all the members of the Commission for your hard work; I am also grateful for the leadership and expertise shown by Chairman Malek. But, this is not the end. I know that there is still much work that can be done and I look forward to future recommendations from this Commission over the next three years."
Among the proposals endorsed by the Commission today:
* Privatize ABC- The Commission approved the staff recommendation to privatize ABC in Virginia, putting half a billion dollars into transportation by eliminating a state monopoly. For more details on this proposal please visit: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=407
* Enhance Virginia's Business One Stop Practices-Significantly enhance the "Virginia Business One Stop" website into a "First and Only Stop" by increasing the information, resources, and assistance available to Virginia entrepreneurs to ensure that truly only one stop is necessary to get a new business up and running with minimal delay.
* Expand Teleworking Options-allow state employees to work from alternative locations, such as their home when possible.
* Transportation Proposals include:
o Enact a Single Reporting Requirement-Enable VDOT to submit one report covering all topics rather than multiple reports. This report would due to the Secretary of Transportation, General Assembly, and Governor by November 30th of each year. This change would lead to greater efficiencies through reducing the amount of staff time expended in preparing the various reports throughout the year.
o Allow Four Year Updates of the Statewide Transportation Plan-Allow the Statewide Transportation Plan to be updated every four years to enable every Governor to implement his or her own policies and transportation goals upon taking office.
o Simplify Requests for Proposal Advertisements -Utilize modern technology to streamline requests for proposal advertisements. Doing so would reduce the costs associated with advertising RFPs and would save time for state agencies. They would no longer have to wait until RFPs are advertised in the paper before proceeding further in the process, so long as notice for meetings are provided in conspicuous places either on their own websites and also the Commonwealth Calendar.
o Eliminate the Rail Advisory Board-Due to its lack of authority to act in any capacity outside of its advisory role, the Rail Advisory Board should be eliminated. This elimination will lead to greater efficiency in the processes for decision making on rail issues, and will lead approximately $10,000 in savings per year in staff time and board member expenses.
To learn more about other recommendations made by the Commission please see: http://www.reform.virginia.gov/
The proposals will now move forward through the legislative and administrative processes in the months ahead.