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Gov. Gregoire announces additional measures to reform state government

For Immediate Release: December 3, 2009

OLYMPIA – As part of her continuing 21st Century Government Reform initiative, Gov. Chris Gregoire took executive action today by announcing several significant reform measures to ensure Washington state delivers services more efficiently and effectively.

“Just like private businesses, state government must make changes to get the most value for our investments while maintaining the highest level of customer service,” Gregoire said. “The reforms I’m proposing today make needed cuts while ensuring that Washington continues to provide important services required in our new economy.”

Gregoire first signed an executive order eliminating 17 boards and commissions while announcing she will introduce legislation to eliminate an additional 78.

To see a list of the boards and commissions affected, visit:

New legislation also will make multiple organizational changes to small state agencies. Currently, 64 small cabinet agencies and boards operate under the authority of a board. This legislation would reduce or eliminate about a third of these agencies through mergers or realignments.

“My staff has worked tirelessly to research how these small agencies are structured in other states,” Gregoire said. “We are following models that are efficient and cost effective.”

To see a list of small agency cabinets affected, visit:

Gregoire continued by announcing that 25 programs are proposed for transfer out of the new Department of Commerce to other state agencies where their work is more closely aligned. Final moves for some of the programs slated to leave Commerce will require legislation. For a list of the proposed program changes, visit:

“We started with a broad portfolio of services, all of which serve important needs for communities throughout our state,” said Rogers Weed, director of Commerce. “Our goal in reorganizing Commerce is to be efficient and effective in addressing our new mission to grow and improve jobs. These moves focus on that mission and provide a path for the programs leaving Commerce to be successful in another agency better aligned with their core work.”

Gregoire also received an update today from executive cabinet leaders working to consolidate core functions of state government. In February, Gregoire directed the Department of General Administration to assume responsibility for smaller motor fleets currently managed by state agencies, the Department of Information Services to consolidate email services and expand the statewide data center, and the Department of Personnel to establish the most cost effective way to establish a single source for citizens to find job opportunities within state government.

State agencies that spend the most on leases have worked for months to identify opportunities for changes and will announce their recommendations soon. Gregoire also directed more coordination with the State Auditor’s Office on property/lease management reform and information technology opportunities.

“Wide adoption of IT shared services allows agencies to concentrate on mission-critical needs while achieving savings through economies of scale and standardization,” said Tony Tortorice, state Chief Information Officer. “This is better for the agencies as they work with fewer resources to provide better service, and it’s better for Washingtonians who will receive better service at a lower cost.”

“Transformation of the way we manage motor pool fleets and leases will create greater efficiency and accountability,” said General Administration Director Linda Villegas Bremer. “We will have standard practices that eliminate duplication, resulting in much better use of taxpayer dollars.”

“We’re taking a hard look at how we deliver HR services in this state,” said Eva Santos, director of the Department of Personnel. “Creating more consistency statewide will allow agencies to focus their limited resources on core mission services, not the back office.”

Yesterday, Gregoire signed an executive order and announced legislation to transform how Washington’s natural resources programs deliver services.