innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Four groups recognized for state efficiency, productivity improvements

This article appeared in the Jefferson City (Missouri) News Tribune on October 15, 2006:

Four Groups Recognized for State Efficiency, Productivity Improvements

By Bob Watson

For the 18th year, Missouri government has recognized state employees for efforts to improve productivity and efficiency.In ceremonies at the Capitol last weej, Gov. Matt Blunt and other officials honored four different agency teams for making good improvements in government operations.Blunt said each of the teams - and their employees - “has made a significant and positive contribution to Missouri State government” and its people.“The significance of their contributions cannot be overstated,” he said.Begun in 1988, the award has recognized government teams' accomplishments in up to six categories - customer service, efficiency, workforce planning, innovation, process improvement and technology in government.Members of a selection committee, composed of state managers and executives, reviewed each of the 40 nominated groups, making recommendations to Blunt for the final selections.Four categories were awarded this year.* The “Efficiency” award went to the Highway Patrol Crime Lab's DNA Profiling Section in the Public Safety Department.Since its beginning in 1993, the section had uploaded approximately 26,000 convicted offenders' DNA profiles to the national CODIS (Combined DNA Information System) database.But new state laws requiring individuals convicted of any felony to submit a DNA sample increased the eligible entries to approximately 20,000 per year, as well as the immediate collection of an estimated 100,000 DNA samples from inmates also covered by the law.After estimating it would need seven years to work through the backlog, the team developed ways to streamline its work and, in 18 months, processed, analyzed and entered approximately 54,000 profiles into the CODIS database - a 200 percent increase in the total number entered during the first 12 years.* The “Technology in Government” award was given to the Active Directory Team - a combination of information technology folks from the Office of Administration and five state departments.The team combined 14 state agencies into a single infrastructure to leverage technology and reduce operating costs, resulting in better management of the network system connecting state government's computers.After developing a blueprint for each agency to plan, test and move its staff accounts, computers, printers, servers and all other devices to the new, combined infrastructure - at a minimal cost and without causing service interruptions - the team reduced the number of servers, software licenses, and management overhead the state had to pay for.* The “Process Improvement” award went to the Transportation Department's Springfield-based District 8 Pavement Repair Crew, which “radically altered their approach to pavement repair” to accomplish the goals of the statewide “Smooth Roads Initiative.”Their adjustments to the pavement repair process resulted in a total statewide savings of $717,431.85 in 2005.* The “Innovation” award went to the three-department (Natural Resources, Conservation and Health and Senior Services) “Weldon Spring Site Remedial Action Project,” which worked to clean up a contaminated 17,000-acre site that included hazardous and radioactive materials from a World War II explosives manufacturing plant and, later, a uranium processing facility.Over three decades, the state also worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy (which owned the Weldon Spring site in St. Charles County) and with local groups.

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