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For Immediate Release 03.15.2018

Governor Announces Transformation Plan To Reduce Cabinet-Level Agencies By 50 percent

Largest Government Reorganization in 47 Years 

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson intends to present a transformation plan to the 2019 General Assembly that will reduce by 50 percent the number of cabinet-level agencies in state government, the governor announced today.

Currently, 42 cabinet-level agencies report directly to the Governor. The plan is to reduce that number to fewer than 20 to better serve the people of Arkansas and to more efficiently deliver services. In addition, we will review the more than 200 boards and commissions as part of the reform effort.

“This will be the first major reform in 47 years,” Governor Hutchinson said. “In 1972, then-Governor Dale Bumpers led an effort to reduce the number of state agencies from 60 to 13 major departments. In the nearly 50 years since, our state government has reversed course, and now there are more than 40 state agencies that have cabinet-level status.By contrast, the federal government has only 15. To lead responsibly, we must take conservative measures such as this to transform state government.”

This new initiative began with Senate Bill 1202 that former Senator Eddie Joe Williams sponsored in 2015. The bill directed the executive branch to consider this type of reform in the organization of state agencies. In addition to the action called for in the bill, the Transformation Advisory Board (TAB), which the governor created in 2017 and is chaired by Michael Carroll, has recommended a restructuring of state government agencies in order to deliver services in a more effective way and to reduce costs. Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin serves as vice chair, and Amy Fecher is the state Chief Transformation Officer. 

The next step in this historic transformation project is for the Transformation Advisory Board to solicit ideas from state employees, agency directors, and legislators.

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