The National Governors Association Redesigning State Government in 2011 and The Big Reset

The National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices program “Redesigning State Government” has examined state governments throughout the nation to provide examples of efforts that states are making to reform government.  The report includes a review of state government reform policies such as health, corrections, education (including higher education), transportation and infrastructure, workforce, pension and benefits, streamlining government, and revenue management and collection.  This resource provides a list of innovative tactics that various states are currently implementing.  Endnotes are attached to the report providing the resources where these government reform policies can be found.

Redesigning State Government 2011 is available here.

Redesigning State Government 2010 and 2009 is available here.

Along with the Redesigning State Government initiative the NGA has also published “The Big Reset, State Government After the Great Recession” which takes a look at what states are doing to recover from the “Great Recession.”  This includes suggestions on how to lower the costs of core services and how state governments can become more efficient.  Further, the report goes into detail regarding agency reorganization, a reexamination of core services, restructuring public employee benefits, budget considerations, and the creation of a government review process.

                The Big Reset, State Government After the Great Recession is available here.

Making It Easier to do Business in Rhode Island

Earlier this summer, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s Office of Regulatory Reform released its annual report to the Governor, “Making it Easier to do Business in Rhode Island.”

The Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR) was established by an executive order in 2010 and reviews the state’s regulatory processes and permitting procedure to identify and improve inefficiencies in the state. ORR also assists businesses, state agencies, and municipalities by directly working with them to steer them through various permitting process. ORR may also “[i]ntevene in any regulatory or permitting matters for the purpose of assuring the efficient and consistent implementation of rules and regulations and to foster the creation and retention of Rhode Island jobs[.]”

The report itself gives background on the RIEDC and the ORR, and provides case studies of ORR intervention. The examples show a variety of reasons for ORR’s intervention, either through direct contact or referral from another branch of government. However, the report does show that these issues were usually resolved in a number of days within contacting the ORR, with the occasional case lasting over a month. The report also identifies examples of “Best Practices” to help municipalities and state agencies adjust and streamline their permitting procedures to make them more business friendly.

The full report is available here.

New York State Shared Municipal Services Incentive (SMSI) Grant Program Technical Assistance Manual

The Government Law Center of Albany Law School produced a manual for local government officials as part of the New York State Department of State’s Local Government Efficiency Program to help local governments provide joint services through municipal agreements or consolidation.  The manual includes case studies of New York municipalities that have identified, analyzed, discussed and presented opportunities for sharing municipal services. 

The manual provides a number of legal, fiscal, process, and collective bargaining issues that local governments must consider when seeking a shared services model.  These considerations have been identified through the conducted case studies and include the legal considerations of inter-municipal agreements.  The manual also recommends several steps to improve the fiscal analysis used by local governments during a shared services scheme because a large part of sharing services between local governments is reducing municipal costs. The manual also provides an annotated bibliography consisting of a broad range of resources that concern municipal consolidation, dissolution, mergers, and shared services.

The manual can be accessed here