Governor Inslee's 'Lean' projects making Washington state government more efficient

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee’s implementation of lean management across all lines of state government is helping simplify paperwork, shorten wait times for driver’s licenses and save millions of dollars.

That’s according to a report released last week by the governor’s office regarding progress on the “Results Washington” initiative Inslee began in September 2013.

A report on the program’s efforts to make state government more efficient - known as “Lean” projects - was due to the legislature this month.

Those receiving the report and accompanying letter included Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger).

The Results Washington report shows examples of 18 improvements. They include holding down lease costs, cutting phone costs and reducing wait times for business documents, public records and vehicle collision reports.

“We’re using proven private-sector principles to make state government better,” said Inslee. “These changes are improving customer service, saving money and helping agencies handle growing workloads with existing resources.”

The examples cited in the report total $5.92 million in savings, $27.4 million in costs avoided and $3.16 million in additional revenue.

Results Washington has an annual cost of $1.8 million, including a staff of 12 full-time employees.

Among the examples touted in last week’s report were:

  • The Department of Enterprise Services expects to avoid $8 million in additional lease costs for state facilities over the next five years by eliminating a backlog of lease renewals and improving how it uses market data.

  • A team of employees at the state’s consolidated technology services helped convert the state’s 30-year-old long-distance phone network to a new service, saving $2 million a year.

  • The average response time to public disclosure requests at Department of Transportation headquarters has been cut by 58 percent, from 24 days to 10.

  • The Department of Licensing has saved state residents more than 1 million hours of wait time at driver licensing offices compared to 2012.

  • Energy efficiency measures at the Department of Social and Health Services facilities helped avoid costs of $3.5 million in 2013.

  • The Department of Labor and Industries, which has a team to collect overpayments made to worker’s compensation customers, improved its processes and boosted recoveries 28 percent in the first year, to $6.2 million.

  • Hundreds of other improvements, typically of a smaller scale than those listed in this report, have also been implemented. From 2012 to present, agencies have completed more than 600 “Lean” projects.

Looking forward, Inslee’s proposed budget for 2015-17 calls for paying for the Results Washington program from the Performance Audits of Government Account, which is intended to help agencies become more efficient and effective through performance audits and performance management.


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