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Colorado’s GEM Review Uncovers $200 Million in Cost Savings

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has released the Year 1 report of the Government Efficiency and Management (GEM) Performance Review which rendered ninety (90) recommendations that will improve state government customer service and save millions of dollars. Although, the recommendations range from practical to technical, the Governor ensures that they will impact government operations significantly.

On June 25, 2008, Gov. Bill Ritter presented the ninety cost-saving and efficiency proposals identified through the yearlong GEM Review. About 12,000 employees kicked off the GEM Review by responding to a statewide Performance Review. A Performance Review is a structured approach to review governmental services and to pinpoint possible savings, efficiencies, improved customer service and new non-tax revenues. Line staff and managers were challenged to view the patterns of management and service delivery and identify innovative ways for government to improve business. This platform allowed employees to be creative without any inhibitions. By challenging basic assumptions about the role of government, the Performance Review allowed government leaders to redesign organizations or programs and to focus on outcomes.

The Year 1 report recommendations include:

  • Transform inefficient operations & stretch state dollars further
  • Break down "silos" so departments can work together to improve services and reduce costs
  • Apply "best practices" from other states and the private sector
  • Apply technology to improve customer service
  • Detect, deter and reduce Medicaid fraud by using sophisticated fraud detection technology -- $47.5 million in savings
  • Improve Colorado's procurement system to reduce the cost of goods and services -- $12.4 million in savings
  • Increase energy efficiency of state buildings with new equipment, operations and a systematic application of energy performance contracting - - $19.7 million in savings
  • Reduce printing and postage costs by automating documents for board meetings and using electronic communications rather than mailing paper documents -- $1 million in savings
  • Add second and third shifts to some state maintenance garages to reduce the need for more costly outsourced repairs -- $1.2 million
  • GovWin anticipates that more states will develop similar initiatives to identify ways to save money. These initiatives encourage questioning fundamental assumptions which then allow government leaders to be more accepting of unconventional and technical solutions.

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