August 02, 2016

Wolf: Pennsylvania saved $156 million in efficiency initiatives

GO-TIME identifies more than 200 initiatives to reduce government costs

Government Savings
Gov. Tom Wolf Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that the Commonwealth saved more than $156 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year through the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME).

State employees joined Wolf to celebrate their accomplishment in a variety of areas that effectively lowered the cost of routine government operations. The final tally exceeded the annual savings goal of $150 million.

“Across our departments, leaders and employees are working together and sharing ideas to be more efficient, provide better service, and reduce costs,” said Wolf. “Many of these improvements will continue to generate savings and other benefits for years to come."

Savings are categorized by GO-TIME as direct dollar savings, productivity savings, cost avoidance, or increased revenue. To be counted toward the total, the savings must meet one or more of the GO-TIME goals:

• Improve service to Commonwealth customers

• Increase efficiency or reduce processing times for government activities

• Generate cost savings or new revenue from collections, fees or recoveries

• Engage citizens

• Improve employee involvement in transformational activities

• Increase collaboration between agencies

Highlights from the program during the 2015-2016 fiscal year include:

Improved procurement strategies: Department of General Services (DGS) saved more than $68 million through negotiated price reductions, contract renewals and reverse auctions for goods and services administered through state agencies.

Mailroom and service consolidation: $2.5 million in annual savings through changes to outgoing mail services, i.e., presorting, volume discounts, staff and equipment reductions, and route revisions.

Park reservation system: Department of Conservation created a more user-friendly website with lower transaction costs, boosting online reservations 5 percent and cutting costs by $100,000 per year.

Inmate transportation: Department of Corrections is saving more than $500,000 per year by temporarily relocating inmates receiving radiation treatment to a single facility.

PennDOT mobile technology: More than 380 construction inspectors achieved greater productivity through the use of mobile applications that eliminate travel costs for real-time data input. Another 700 plow trucks also received vehicle location devices to respond more quickly to winter storms.

Other areas that have generated savings include online voter registration, digitizing state archives, innovatice financing for energy savings, and consolidation of document and imaging services.

“I want to thank our state employees for all of their work to achieve this milestone for taxpayers,” said Wolf. “From clerks to cabinet secretaries, all of us have a role to play in making government work better for the people of Pennsylvania.”

GO-TIME has identified more than 200 initiatives to modernize departmental operations moving forward through further process improvements, technology utilization and resource sharing.

“There is more that we can do," Wolf added. "That is why I am now challenging GO-TIME to save $500 million by 2020.”