Process Used:

  • Received ten applications from eight different agencies
  • Screening panel of eight internal consultants selected five projects as finalists for presentation to panel of judges
  • Finalists present projects to panel of judges, who select winners in each category
  • Governor presents awards at ceremony on May 6, 2003


Grant Fredricks, Deputy Director, Department of General Administration
Mike Hudson, Association of Washington Business
Sam Jones, President of the Board, Washington State Quality Award
Carol Knight-Wallace, Vice President, Washington Mutual Bank
Kathy Kravit-Smith, Assistant Director, Department of Agriculgure
Cathy Wolfe, Thurston County Commissioner

Governor's Award for Quality and Performance
Web-Based Employer Transmittal Project
Department of Retirement Systems

The Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) collects data on compensation and retirement from 1260 public employers for over 280,000 active members. The employers represent a wide range of public agencies, including cities, counties, utility districts, colleges and schools. While large employers report electronically, smaller employers did not have the resources to develop reporting systems that would integrate with their payroll systems – they used a paper process that then had to be entered manually by DRS staff. The paper process was time consuming, to the extent that sometimes retirees first retirement check was processed before the information from the last paycheck was entered, meaning benefits had to be adjusted, and the adjustment explained. The team involved staff and employers in designing a web-based paperless submittal process that has been adopted by over 70% of the targeted users, and has reduced errors by 90 percent.

Team Members:

DRS Personnel
Carlos Benavidez
Brian Berghoff
Rose Bossio
Debbie Callar
Dick Ellis
Kris Fjalstad
Dave Nelsen
Mitch Thompson
Marc Toye

DRS Contractors
Brad Andrews
Simone Becker
Ric Doerflinger
Ron Newell
Dave Richard
Jona Vallarta

Department of Retirement System Team Members

Governor's Award for Quality and Performance
Investing in Employees Pays Off
Office of Financial Management

The Office of Financial Management plays a critical role in developing policy, compiling the budgets for all state agencies and allocating resources. Staff comes to OFM because they value the opportunity to make a difference, but the stress and the hours were causing alarming rates of turnover and burnout. Benchmarking revealed a turnover rate 25% higher than the national average for classified employees, and a median tenure of half the national average. The costs of recruiting and replacing employees were also significant. Using surveys, focus groups, exit interviews, leave records and process data, the team identified several contributing factors to the turnover and burnout, and developed an array of solutions to address them. Solutions included a critical path approach to simplifying the budget process that eliminated the 7 day work week, reallocation of staff to meet areas and times of peak demand, development of a “training forum” that brought all staff together for a week of off-site training. As a result, turnover was reduced by 80%, vacancies reduced by 75%, overtime and call-back pay reduced by $19,080 per year, and costs to satisfy continuing education requirements reduced by 96%.

Team Members:

Tamla Anderson
Peter Antolin
William Basl
Kay Baxstrom
Douglas Beam
John Bilbrey
Ann Bruner
Shellie Burnham
Aaron Butcher
James Cahill
Daniel Cole
Michael Contris
Keith Cooper
James Crawford
Pamela Davidson
Susan Dodson
Patricia Ellis
Candace Espeseth
Mark Fortier
Bruce Gorsky
Robert Griesel
Linda Hamilton
Jim Hedrick
Nancy Heyen
Debra Hoxit
Wendy Jarrett
Susan Johnsen
Carol Jolly
Dennis Jones
Lori Jones
Wayne Kawakami
Mike Kirkpatrick
Angela Knight
Susan Latham
Irving Lefberg
Brian Lock
Theresa Lowe
Betty Mackey
Roselyn Marcus
Lynne McGuire
Kenneth Miller
Daniel Myers
Harold Nelson
Muoi Nguy
John Nicholson
Sharon Novak
Patsy Nutt
Melodie Olsen
Arthur Overman
Cynthia Palm
Nick Pender
Edward Penhale
Betty Reed
Michael Roberts
Gary Robinson
Kathleen Rosmond
Allen Schmidt
Douglas Selix
Ronald Shurer
Jennifer Strus
Glen Tapanila
LaVern Todd
Joyce Turner
Mary Van Verst
Douglas Vaughn
Vicki Wilson
Yolanda Wilson
OFM Team Members

Governor's Award Quality and Performance
Claims Cost Reduction Team
Department Social and Health Services

At Fircrest School, time lost due to ‘on-the-job’ injuries was costing the agency $920,000 per year and 3175 in time loss days. It was also adversely affecting clients when the continuity of care was interrupted. A team of staff, managers and attending physicians analyzed the root causes of employees not returning to work more quickly and identified root causes for employees not to return to work, including the lack of light duty options. The team developed an array of solutions to address the root causes, including the development of more light duty options, better followup with attending physicians, and streamlined processes for closing claims. As a result, the agency experienced a 25% reduction in time loss days, and savings of $480,000 in FY 2000. Surveys of staff, managers and claims processors also indicated improvements in morale, staffing levels and productivity.

Team Members:

Nancy Carlson
Dan Drischel
Deanna Fournier
Lauri Johannessen
Margaret McGill
Kelly Melton
Jennifer Owen
Asha Singh
Fircrest School Team Members

Governor's Award for Customer Service
Small Agency Initiative
Department Information Services, Department of General Administration, Office of Financial Management

Operating with small staffs and few resources, small state agencies struggle to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology practices of larger agencies and the private sector, including many of their customers. Connectivity to the State Government network is not consistent cross small agencies, who often cannot access the state’s internal Web applications such as the payroll and personnel systems.

As a result, small agencies face significant operational disadvantages and run a significant IT security risk. DIS worked with GA and OFM to develop a model for:

As a result of this collaborative effort, citizens have better access to the services and information of state agencies, and small agencies realized cost avoidance of $82,000.

Team Members:

Peter Antolin, OFM
Bob Bippert, GA
Linda Jo Demery, DIS
Tom Evans, GA
Bob Griesel, OFM
Trina Knight, DIS
Mark Lahaie, GA
Connie Michener, DIS
Lenore Miller, GA
Michael VanGelder, GA
Yolanda Wilson, OFM
Tristan Wise, OFM

Department of Labor & Industries
Growth Management Hearing Boards
Office of the Attorney General
Administrative Office of the Courts
Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials
Commission on African American Affairs
Commission on Asian American Affairs
Commission on Hispanic Affairs

Small Agency Initiative Team Members

Governor's Award for Public Value and Benefit
Child Support Internet Payment Service
Department of Social and Health Services

The division of child support is responsible for collecting and distributing over $50 million in child support payments monthly. Getting payments to recipients quickly is critical, as the families who receive these payments are highly dependent on them. Most of the payments are collected from employers as automatic payroll deductions, but existing touch-tone dialing collection processes were cumbersome or time consuming for mid-size employers. This project developed an Internet payment process that allowed employers and direct-paying non-custodial parents to make child support payments over the web. As a result, the team has cut internal processing costs from $.63 per transaction to $.18 per transaction.

Team Members:

Kamala Burkey
Wendy Cole-Deardorff
Paul Gronka
Tom Keating
Lynnie Larsen
Sandra Lee
Khoi Mai
Rod McNeil
Janina Oestreich
Tamera Rankin
Ann Rockett
Kelley Romeo
Nancy Stewart
Chere' Sweet
Verna Sweet
Lisa Vasquez
Child Support Team Members