Manchin says state will save with cost-cutting meaures

By The West Virginia Record | Jun 27, 2006

CHARLESTON -- West Virginia will realize a budgetary savings of more than $318 million during the next five years by implementing "common sense" recommendations for cost savings suggested in a new analysis of state government operations, Gov. Joe Manchin said.

The Performance Review Report, conducted by nationally-recognized consulting firm Public Works LLC in conjunction with state employees, identifies specific areas within three sections of state government -- Transportation, Purchasing, and Health and Human Resource -- where significant cost savings can be generated.

The report -- the first phase of a two-phase plan to improve the fiscal management of state government operations while providing the most effective and efficient services possible to citizens -- represents the latest step in the governor's continuing series of "Responsible Government" initiatives.

"The goal of this comprehensive review was to gather information on the detailed operations of our state government and then determine how these operations can be improved," Manchin said. "The recommendations in this report, once implemented, can significantly improve the efficiency of agencies such as our Division of Highways (DOH), Division of Purchasing, Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Motor Vehicles, and others."

Specific recommendations in Phase One of this effort include the calibration of salt and cinder spreading equipment in DOH, which has already saved more than $1 million this year and is expected to save as much as $3.5 million annually in future years; the implementation of a statewide cell phone policy and the use of a statewide contract for wireless phone service, which is expected to save at least $1 million annually; and, improved investigation of Medicaid fraud with additional staffing and resources, which is expected to save approximately $20 million annually.

"As you can see from these examples, these are recommendations that just make sense. These recommended changes will also result in a better, and more fiscally responsible, West Virginia state government," Manchin said. "This is just part of our continuing Responsible Government efforts and I will continue to work hard every day to keep my promise of running this state like a business for the benefit of all West Virginians."

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