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For Immediate Release 08.30.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Praises Agencies’ Efficiencies Efforts as Highlighted by The Arkansas Project

ADFA, Heritage, ADIS and ADEM Cutting Costs, Maintaining Services

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today praised the ongoing efficiency efforts at the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), Arkansas Department of Information Systems (ADIS) and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). These efforts have been highlighted in a recent series of articles from The Arkansas Projectemphasizing efficiencies in state government. These efficiencies include substantive cuts to each agency’s budget, as well as considerable decreases to agency personnel. These reforms are significant and have been implemented over time, while maintaining services to Arkansas taxpayers. 

“I am grateful that The Arkansas Project has taken notice of the progress my administration has made in cutting the cost of state government by closely examining everything we spend," said Governor Hutchinson. "Since I took office in 2015, my directors have saved money by cutting everything from cable-TV subscriptions to jobs that aren’t essential to the operation of their agency. I am grateful, also, to the directors who have caught my vision for reducing state government to a manageable size and one that is attuned to what is best for all Arkansans.”

Links to the full articles can be found below following an excerpt from each.

Efficiency In State Government: Arkansas Development Finance Authority

More and more Americans in recent years have been “cutting the cord” to save money. It turns out that Aaron Burkes, president of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), did the same after he took the job in 2015. 

Burkes told The Arkansas Project in an interview: “We cancelled the cable TV in the conference room. That’s not a lot of money when you look at our entire budget. But it sends an important message.”

Burkes has also overseen a significant reduction in overall staff size of the agency. The agency had 57 employees for the 62 positions appropriated when Burkes came on board in 2015. Now ADFA has 48 employees and state funding for 60 positions. That’s about a 16 percent reduction in staffing — achieved in a short amount of time. Burkes said the reduction was possible due to streamlining duplicate and redundant processes within the agency. … Overall, Burkes said a rough conservative estimate would be that the staff reductions saved taxpayers around $400,000 to $500,000 annually.

Click HERE for the full article.

Efficiency in State Government: Department Of Arkansas Heritage

The Hutchinson era has seen many Arkansas state agencies adopt efficiency as a priority. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) … Stacy Hurst, DAH Director, told The Arkansas Project how she went about eliminating inefficiencies in the department while still meeting DAH’s service requirements since she took over in 2015.

Hurst said one of the first actions she took after starting at DAH in January 2015 was to work with the Office of Personnel Management in the Department of Finance and Administration to get an analysis of staffing levels in the department. … DAH reduced full-time staff by eight positions from vacancies from attrition for fiscal year 2017. This reduction amounted to an annual savings of $312,694.

Click HERE for the full article.

Efficiency in State Government: ADIS & ADEM 

Both the Arkansas Department of Information Systems (ADIS) and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) have reduced overall levels of staffing since 2015. 

According to an ADIS spokeswoman, the number of staff vacancies doubled from 32 to 65 from fiscal year 2014/2015 to the current fiscal year. 

… Janet Clark, public information manager for ADIS, said the staff reductions were done through attrition, and these duties were absorbed by other personnel. …Annual salary savings since fiscal year 2014 to the state were approximately $12.5 million, according to Clark. 

… The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) has also reduced its payroll in recent years. According to Melody Daniel, an ADEM spokeswoman, three positions have been eliminated since 2014 for a total of $66,034 in salary savings annually. … Daniel said the reduction in staff wouldn’t keep ADEM from fulfilling its mission of aiding Arkansans in disasters and emergencies. 

Click HERE for the full article.

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