WHEREAS, "quality improvement", as described herein, is a proven approach that has demonstrated improved performance in a wide range of public and private organizations.

WHEREAS, successful quality efforts require effective leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, employee involvement, continuous improvement, and self-assessment of results.

WHEREAS, enhanced customer service, efficiency gains and cost savings throughout state government can be best achieved by engaging state agency management and employees in the use of continuous quality improvement management systems, work processes and quality tools.

WHEREAS, quality improvement can help to deliver the goals and commitments of this Administration.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Gary Locke, Governor of the State of Washington, by virtue of the power vested in me, hereby order and direct the following action.

Quality Improvement

  1. Each agency shall develop and implement a program to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the public services it provides through quality improvement, business process redesign, employee involvement, and other quality improvement techniques. These efforts shall be conducted with the assistance of the front line employees. Employees shall be provided the training to enable them to successfully implement and complete their efforts in quality improvements. The establishment and operations of these programs shall include the involvement of recognized collective bargaining representatives.
  2. Upon the effective date of this executive order, each state agency shall designate a person responsible for improvement of the quality of the systems and work processes within the agency. That person shall report to the agency head and serve as the agency's contact for quality improvement with the Subcabinet on Management Improvement and Results.
  3. Each agency shall have a steering committee composed of appropriate senior management, mid-management, front line staff and support staff organizations.
  4. Each agency shall identify immediate- and near-term opportunities to improve services and or reduce costs.
  5. Agencies should utilize the tools of strategic business planning and performance measures to establish their priorities and measure their progress toward their stated goals. Each agency shall develop performance measures to assess customer satisfaction, progress toward accomplishing outcomes specified in agency budgets per RCW 43.88.090 and necessary to provide feedback on the impact of quality improvement, employee involvement and management improvement initiatives. Those agencies which have already begun quality improvement efforts, shall incorporate the requirements of this executive order into their existing initiatives.
  6. Each agency shall report the results of its quality improvement/employee involvement programs to the Governor on a quarterly basis. The reports shall specify improved outcomes for public service, efficiency and effectiveness. The reports may also describe how customer service and stakeholder satisfaction is measured, methods used to engage agency employees in the program and how agency business processes have been changed to improve efficiency, effectiveness and quality.
  7. Each agency shall evaluate the results of its quality, service and management improvement programs including, but not limited to, leadership, information and analysis, strategic planning, human resource development and management, process improvement, business results, and customer focus and satisfaction.
  8. Each state agency shall develop a plan for quality improvement that documents efforts to date and addresses the above areas. These plans shall be submitted to the Governor no later that July 1, 1997. State agencies shall document the results of their quality efforts and report quarterly to the Subcabinet on their progress.
  9. The Governor's Council on Service Improvement and Performance shall be established to advise the Governor on quality improvements. The membership shall include representatives from the business, labor, media, and higher education communities and the Governor's Executive Cabinet. The council shall be chaired by the Governor or the Governor's Chief of Staff.
  IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the State of Washington to be Affixed at Olympia this 30th day of April A.D., Ninteen hundred and ninety-seven.


Governor of Washington

Secretary of State