Thursday, November 16, 2000

Savings pegged at $300M per year

Report outlines state of Ohio streamlining

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Improvements outlined in a management plan for streamlining state government will save Ohio about $300 million annually once all changes are put into effect, said the leader of the group that drafted the plan.

        David Phillips, chairman of the governor's Management Improvement Commission 2000, presented the plan Wednesday to Gov. Bob Taft. The governor had commissioned the yearlong study to identify ways all state agencies can improve customer service and save money.

        “We looked at ways to get the biggest bang for the buck,” Mr. Phillips said.

        The state will use any money saved during the next two years to offset costs of putting the plan into effect, he said.

        Many of the dozens of recommendations are administrative changes that can be made without going to the Legislature.

        Others require laws to be passed. Phillips said he anticipates many of the changes to take place within the next year.

        He said Taft has indicated to him that “this would be a working document. I am convinced he is in agreement about what needs to be done.”

        Mr. Phillips said dozens of private-sector officials and state agency employees provided the study with information about how different agencies are run.

        A state employees union criticized the report, saying union members should have been allowed to participate.

        “This effort was flawed, and the problems began last December when they dismissed our involvement,” said Ronald Alexander, president of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association.

        Mr. Alexander said he was troubled by a proposal in the study which would revamp the classification and compensation system for state employees. He said that topic belongs in contract negotiations.


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