State Government Reorganization Interim Committee Approves Recommendations to Legislature

ReorganizationOn Thursday, December 10, the State Government Reorganization Interim Committee voted unanimously to approve several proposals to reduce state government spending.

Here is the list of proposed recommendations to the Legislature. The list is broken down into four primary areas – E-government, consolidated purchasing, government efficiencies, and span of control.

Here are the highlights of each area:

E-Government

  • Consolidation efforts to be led by DAS/ITE. Mission is to provide high-quality, customer-focused IT services and business solutions to government and citizens.
  • Continue to consult with current Technology Governance Board – Board should also include large and small private sector interests. Board membership will be “tweaked.”
  • Define IT Devices, IT Services, Infrastructure Services, Value-added services.
  • All executive branch agencies are required to participate in consolidation effort.
  • In collaboration with agencies, e-mail systems would be consolidated wherever possible.

Consolidated Purchasing

  • All executive branch agencies are required to participate. Close loopholes.
  • Change the Iowa Code to eliminate independent purchasing authorities. Allow agencies to purchase goods unique to their operations, and restrict their ability to purchase commonly used items independently.
  • Mandate use of DAS Procurement contracts, especially with commonly used products. Currently, some state agencies purchase outside of the DAS contracts. This inhibits our ability to take advantage of the State’s volume of purchases. Implementation of this mandate would send a message to suppliers that they need to sharpen their pencils during the bid process because if they don’t put their best price forward, all agencies will be buying from their competitor. Examples of commonly used products include: office supplies, off-the-shelf software, computers, printers, servers, copiers, and paper products.
  • Explore interstate and intergovernmental purchasing opportunities.

Government Efficiencies

  • Streamline hiring procedures – reduce from seven to three steps. Requests would be from Institution / Department – to Central Office / DOM – Institution / Department.
  • Expand net budgeting to include other service providing agencies.
  • Reduce /downsize the state fleet. Re-evaluate purpose of state fleet. Could include privatization of part or all of state fleet. Directive to DAS – Give DAS more “teeth” to deny fleet purchases based on low mileage, occasional use vehicles etc. Consider leasing/renting large vehicles that are only used on an occasional basis.
  • Amend Code to require an in-depth look at state government every five years to ensure that services are being delivered the most efficient and effective way. (Similar to the School Finance Review that is in Code.) This will include membership of 5 Senators and 5 House members.
  • Eliminate all funded, unfilled FTE positions that have been open for 6 months. Create a waiver process for specialized/hard to fill positions.

Span of Control

  • Change Code to include DHS, Regents and Community Based Corrections under span of control.
  • Review of all classifications for non-contract covered positions.
  • Improve system for accounting for supervisory span of control (count apples to apples).
  • Specifically define and account for span of control.
  • Definition of “Supervisory employee” means any individual having authority in the interest of the public employer to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other public employees, or the responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action. A supervisory employee is not a member of the bargaining unit.
  • Supervisors may not have bumping rights, for purposes of span of control purposes – this is effective upon enactment.
  • In times of layoffs, middle management layoffs should correspond with front-line layoffs.
  • Increase span of control to 15-1. (Allow for exceptions when mandated by federal government). Span of control increases by 1 each year until reaching 20:1.

House Republicans agree with the above recommendations but do not believe they go far enough in eliminating programs and increasing efficiency in order to save taxpayer dollars.

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Dansette