Thursday, July 7, 2011

Performing on reforming

Washington hasn’t rested on our reform laurels since earning top Grading the States honors in “results-based government” from the Governing Magazine and the Pew Center on the States. Much is being done and there is still more to do, according to new reports.

A summary of Major 2011 Legislative Reforms from the office of the Governor points to hundreds of millions in savings from actions taken this year—including Unemployment Insurance Reforms that will save businesses $300 million this year alone.

A brand new report from the State Auditor’s Office shows we’re also making progress on performance-based contracting. In November 2010, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s 2011 Executive Order on Performance Based Contracting directed all state cabinet agencies to institute performance-based contracting for new contracts and renewals of existing contracts. The new State Auditor’s report on performance contracting followed up with detailed reviews of more than 450 state contracts and hundreds of interviews. Findings include:
  • Overall, Washington has built a solid foundation from which to improve its contracting processes and possibly to reduce costs.
  • Washington contracts for about $10 billion annually—roughly a third of all state spending. And 92 percent of reviewed contracts met the Office of Financial Management’s basic standards by identifying deliverables and tying payments to successful completion or delivery.
But there’s still more to do. For example, the Highlights of the Auditor’s Recommendations calls for increasing the use of performance or outcomes measures in determining payments, and improved training on performance contracting.

The work of reform is never complete. There will always be more to do … and House Democrats will always be leading the way.