Kentucky’s ‘smart government’ initiative to focus on state procurement, IT services

Last week, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear introduced a new initiative to streamline government services and improve efficiency within his administration. The “Smart Government” initiative will look towards statewide procurement reform, information technology and state-owned assets to stretch the taxpayers’ dollar.

Beginning in 2007, Gov. Beshear instituted a number of cost-saving measures, ranging from bond and debt refinancing to reduced laundry and cleaning services, to fewer reduced travel expenses. The Beshear administration also likes to boast its 10 percent salary reductions for senior staff for the last two years. The debt savings resulted in $2.7 million savings and energy efficiency standards for all state buildings will result in more than $281,000, in reduced utilities and maintenance, officials claim.

But now, Beshear officials want to focus on business solutions and procurement practices to trim government expenditures.

Gov. Beshear has ordered a review of information technology processes, and he’s looking to uncover areas of shared services, especially for communications services, desktop support and management of state IT assets. Leveraging more IT buying power is also central to the governor’s “Smart Government” procurement strategy.

Under the new policy initiative, agencies are directed to review both goods and services contracts to identify savings opportunities. Gov. Beshear is looking for ways to have a more coordinated government-wide procurement policy. But more specifically, he wants to consolidate cell phone and wireless data service plans for state workers.

A committee led by the Secretary of the Executive Cabinet Mary Lassiter and staffed by the Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Jonathan Miller, will be organized to oversee the “Smart Government” policy. The decision-making body will monitor agency reviews and advise on new procedure implementations.

“Under Gov. Beshear’s leadership, state government is more efficient, transparent and sustainable than ever before,” said Jonathan Miller, Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary. “With his current initiative we will create a smarter, leaner and stronger government in the long run, capable of dramatic progress when the economy turns around.”

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