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Reform measures will improve services, save taxpayer dollars

Press Release

Location: St. Paul, MN

Over the last two years, Governor Dayton has recommitted state government to a culture of reform and continuous improvement. By streamlining operations, improving services, and empowering state employees to help change the way government conducts its business, the Dayton administration has delivered a better value to taxpayers for every dollar.

Today, Governor Dayton's Chief of Staff Tina Flint Smith, MN.IT Services Commissioner Carolyn Parnell, and Department of Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk outlined additional reform measures in the Governor's budget that will help deliver better, faster services for Minnesotans while saving millions in taxpayer dollars.

"In big and small ways we are changing how state government works," said Smith. "This administration has not simply imposed top-down changes to state government; we have relied on the input of state workers to improve services for Minnesota families, communities, and businesses. The investments we are outlining today will continue that important work."

Investing in Minnesota's Enterprise Lean Program
The Enterprise Lean Program helps save time and money for Minnesota taxpayers, using proven quality management techniques to transform government programs and services. Since 2008, nearly 3,500 employees from 21 state agencies, 44 counties, and 13 cities have received Lean training, learning how to transform government to deliver better, faster services at a better price.

The Lean model works directly with state employees to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a program, and implement needed improvements. Each of these training events results in average time savings of 68 percent and average cost savings of $98,000. Over the last two years alone, these efforts have saved or avoided an estimated $12 million in costs to Minnesota taxpayers.

Governor Dayton's budget would invest an additional $520,000 in Lean, hiring two additional staff to reduce costs and eliminate duplication. This will effectively enhance the overall impact of the program, saving millions more in taxpayer dollars.

Expanding the SmART Program
The Department of Administration's Small Agency Resource Teams (SmART) program provides expert human resources, financial, and accounting services for twelve small state agencies, boards, and councils. By centralizing these services, the state is able to save money and administer smaller agencies more efficiently. The Governor's budget proposes an additional $370,000 investment in SmART that will hire two additional staff. This relatively small investment will provide support to more small agencies, producing additional cost savings.

Smart, Efficient IT Services
In 2011, the Dayton administration began the largest reorganization of state government in recent memory -- the centralized management of the state's IT systems. These improvements have already saved the state $19.5 million and are expected to save even more going forward. Minnesota is now a national leader in public sector IT consolidation; saving taxpayers millions of dollars, improving customer service, and protecting the safety and integrity of our IT systems and data. Governor Dayton's budget builds on that success by making needed investments in IT improvements across the administration.

Systems Modernization at the Department of Human Services (DHS) -- The governor's budget would replace a 20-year-old IT system at DHS. A new, modernized IT system will increase efficiencies at the county level, improve the ability to measure outcomes across programs, and help identify and prevent any fraud, waste and abuse in state programs.
Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS) -- The governor's budget continues the development of the statewide longitudinal education data system. This will help educators, policymakers, and researchers as they work to design a better education system for Minnesota students. By improving information about how students transition between E-12, higher education, and the workforce, state leaders can evaluate program efficacy and design targeted improvement strategies.
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Data Analytics -- The governor's budget would modernize data collection and performance reporting tools at the DNR. This new system would help the DNR improve decision-making and measure results, achieve work efficiencies and cost savings, and make natural resource information more accessible to the public.
State Crime Reporting System -- The governor's budget would replace outdated IT systems at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). These new systems will provide more accurate and timely data to help law enforcement develop more effective strategies to reduce the incidence of crime in Minnesota.

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