Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Gov. Schwarzenegger isn't reforming

Shortly after being elected, Gov. Schwarzenegger commissioned the California Performance Review, an independent commission intended to analyze California's government and suggest reforms to "restructure, reorganize and reform state government to make it more responsive to the needs of its citizens and business community". The commission created a report that suggested hundreds of changes (including such novel ones as "Make higher education more affordable by reducing the cost of textbooks"), and now that the report is a year old, the LA Times has published an article analyzing how many of the recommendations Gov. Schwarzenegger's administration has enacted.
To gauge the administration's progress, The Times examined 39 specific recommendations the task force made. For those recommendations, the task force had predicted substantial costs or savings in the fiscal year that ended June 30, indicating that the report's authors believed those changes could be quickly initiated.

The task force predicted the state would have seen $1 billion in savings through 28 of the recommendations, which range from the specific (use digital photos instead of film) to the grand (make state employees more efficient through better technology, training and management). Of those, eight have been completed, eight are underway and work has not begun on the other 12, according to the governor's office.

The administration also appears to be behind on implementing changes that, in the short run, would cost the state more because of start-up costs.

Of 11 task force recommendations that carry substantial first-year charges, only one, allowing drivers to renew their licenses over the Internet, has been completed, the governor's office said.

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