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Review panel makes 84 recommendations to governor

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Editor's note: Gary Rust is the chairman of Rust Communications, which owns the Southeast Missourian. He was a member of the Missouri State Government Review Commission. E-mail: grust@semissourian.com.

Here is a preliminary listing of the 84 recommendations that the Missouri State Government Review Commission will be submitting to Gov. Matt Blunt in compliance with his executive order to review the structure of state government.

There are justifications for each of the recommendations, and those justifications will be provided to the governor. For example, one recommendation proposes that the state prepare a biennial budget rather than the current annual budget cycles. That recommendation has the following justification:

"A biennial budget cycle has a number of advantages, as reported in a National Conference of State Legislatures report by Ronald K. Snell, October 2004. Twenty-one states currently use some form of biennial budgeting including Arizona, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina and Arkansas. The 2004 California Governor's Performance Review Committee's recommendations included the suggestion that California convert to a biennial budget. Biennial budgets save costs of preparing budgets, free staff time to concentrate on policy matters in off-years and require an emphasis on long-term planning."

In another area, little has been reported about the 11 recommendations regarding the creation of interdepartmental coordinating councils. Here is some background from the commission's report:

"In receiving testimony from all of the departments of state government and from the public at large, it has become clear to the commission that there are several vital missions of state government that are vested within a single department but require coordination of several departments for the mission to be successfully delivered to the people of Missouri. These interdepartmental missions are most successful when cooperation and communication across departmental lines are achieved and bureaucratic silos are leveled.

"Toward giving focus to the successful delivery of these interdepartmental missions, the commission asked all departments to list the missions that they are charged with achieving which require cooperation across departmental lines. ... The commission recommends that the governor explore establishing, by executive order, certain interdepartmental coordination councils comprising existing senior staff from the departments of state government to provide interdepartmental coordination, communication and efficiency in the effective delivery of these vital services to Missourians.

"No new resources are deemed necessary to support these coordination councils. Rather, better interdepartmental coordination of existing departmental resources would better focus state agencies on measurable, results-oriented service delivery. Each interdepartmental coordination council should be charged with developing specific, quantifiable, objective performance standards which would accurately reflect the successful delivery of the stated mission that it is charged with coordinating. These objective performance standards should be reported to the governor, and each coordination council should measure its success and progress against such performance standards."

The commission realizes its proposals, for the most part, would require legislation and hearings in House and Senate committees for implementation. This process would allow specific lobbying and additional public testimony.

In some areas, the commission has adopted proposals with the intent to stimulate discussions and further review of certain service-delivery systems by state government.

The following proposals are listed by departments to help interested parties to focus on specific areas of interest.

Here are the recommendations:

Departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources:

1. Transfer the State Milk Board into a unit of the Animal Health Division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Also transfer the rating function currently performed by the Department of Health and Senior Services to the reconfigured milk regulatory unit within MDA.

2. Add the director of the Department of Natural Resources to the Missouri Development Finance Board.

3. The MDA should give increased emphasis to the following:

* agricultural business development services,

* the strengthening of animal health services,

* the strengthening of agricultural export services for Missouri's food and fiber industries, and

* the development of new programs to assist youths and beginning farmers.

4. The MDA should continue to explore public/private partnerships to enhance department programs and services.

Departments of Insurance and Revenue and Office of Administration:

1. Change the organizations statutorily created as Type II and Type III transfers in the Reorganization Act of 1974 to Type I transfers, with the exceptions of the State Lottery Commission, Gaming Commission, Veterans Commission and the constitutionally created Highways and Transportation Commission and Conservation Commission.

2. The Office of Administration should conduct a feasibility study to determine whether or not a consolidated health-care administration plan should be pursued.

3. The commissioner of administration should convene a committee that includes members from the governor's office, House and Senate leadership, appropriations/budget committee chairs and the Office of Administration to consider creative, innovative revisions to the budgetary process to reward agencies that are efficient stewards of state citizens' resources by protecting unspent portions of their appropriations.

4. Transfer the regulation of licensing bail-bond and surety-recovery agents from the Department of Insurance to the Department of Public Safety.

5. Transfer the collection of surplus lines tax from the Department of Insurance to the Department of Revenue.

6. Transfer the review of unclaimed-property reports submitted to the state treasurer's office by insurance companies (Section 447.510, RSMo) from the Department of Insurance to the state treasurer's office.

7. Transfer the following administrative disbursements appropriations from the Office of Administration to the department responsible for the programs for which the disbursements relate:

* Costs in criminal cases to Department of Corrections

* Clarence Cannon Dam to Department of Natural Resources.

* Juvenile court personnel to Office of State Courts Administrator.

* Public TV/radio support to Department of Economic Development.

* Regional planning commissions to Department of Economic Development.

8. Appoint a legislative committee to review and address simplifying the Missouri Tax Code.

9. Prepare on a biennial cycle, rather than an annual cycle, the state's operating budget.

10. Increase the dollar threshold for public advertising of construction projects from $25,000 to $100,000, and remove the requirement of including any daily newspapers in the state which have more than a 50,000 daily circulation.

11. The state's chief information officer, as part of the process proposed for the Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Information Technology and Customer Service, should develop a five-year information technology project plan, including estimated costs, estimated savings and implementation dates. This plan should address a number of technology issues in the state including the following items:

* Increased use of electronic filing systems, electronic funds transfers for payments, document imaging, wireless hardware, updated office equipment and enhanced Web sites.

* Conversion of the many Department of Revenue legacy systems to Web-enabled functionality.

* Consolidation of tax-credit administration into one system.

* Development of system to improve the identification of uninsured motorists.

* Coordination with political subdivisions on projects that benefit the state and citizens, e.g., county personal property tax payment availability for motor vehicle registration renewals.

12. Dissolve the State Tax Commission, moving the adjudicatory functions into the Missouri State Government Review Commission's approved Administrative Hearing Commission, and the remaining duties into the Department of Revenue.

13. The Missouri State Employees Retirement System should include the annual salary amount, in addition to the monthly salary amount, in the personal benefit statement issued to state employees.

14. Executive departments should use the best resources available to create strategically planned, goal-oriented, performance-driven programs. These resources may include programs such as the Excellence in Missouri Foundation, whose services are provided to state agencies at no charge.

Departments of Health and Senior Services, Mental Health and Social Services:

1. Transfer the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Public Safety.

2. Transfer from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the First Steps Program to the Department of Health and Senior Services.

3. Eliminate the certificate-of-need program in Missouri with the exception of hospitals and medical equipment.

4. Transfer from the Department of Health and Senior Services the Breath Alcohol Program to the Department of Transportation Division of Highway Safety.

5. Consolidate the private water supply functions from the Department of Health and Senior Services within the Department of Natural Resources.

6. Consolidate on-site sewage treatment from the Department of Health and Senior Services within the Department of Natural Resources.

7. Transfer the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Health from the Office of Administration to the Department of Health and Senior Services.

8. Shift licensing responsibility for emergency medical technicians from the Department of Health and Senior Services to the Division of Professional Registration within the proposed Department of Financial Regulation and Professional Regulation.

9. Licensing of child-care providers should be consolidated with other child-care functions, and licensure of residential facilities for adults should be consolidated under the Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Regulation and Licensure.

10. Transfer the Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to the Department of Public Safety, given the interface with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

11. Consolidate in the appropriate place state help and information lines. This recommendation excludes crisis hotlines.

12. The Department of Health and Senior Services should examine services provided by the Centers for Independent Living to determine areas that need additional oversight and look for administrative cost savings.

13. Re-examine the cost formula used to reimburse nursing homes.

14. The Department of Health and Senior Services should develop a service contract that stipulates the services to be provided under a personal-care services contract.

15. The executive branch of state government should implement a single point of entry process for senior services and pre-admission determination screenings to ascertain the services needed along the continuum of patient care offered in Missouri, with emphasis on serving the individual in the least restrict environment.

16. The Department of Health and Senior Services should examine outsourcing or privatizing case-management services consistent with approvals from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

17. The Department of Mental Health should undergo an external review and evaluation process to test the efficacy of its delivery systems and programs and the efficiency with which they are delivered. The external reviewers should be chosen by persons outside the department to achieve a process which is both transparent and accountable.

Departments of Economic Development, Labor and Industrial Relations and Transportation:

1. Create the Department of Financial Regulation and Professional Regulation. The new department would include the current Department of Insurance and the Division of Finance, State Banking Board, State Savings and Loan Commission, Division of Credit Unions, Credit Union Commission, Residential Mortgage Broker Board, Division of Professional Registration from the Department of Economic Development, and the Securities Division from the office of the secretary of state. Upon reorganization, the department director should review all boards and commissions to determine if any can or should be eliminated.

2. Support the internal reorganization of the Department of Economic Development into three areas: economic growth, economic regulation and work force development. Economic growth would include a new Division of Business and Community Development created by merging the current Divisions of Business Development and Community Development. Within this new division would be an Office of Economic Growth which would include: Division of Tourism, Tourism Commission, Arts Council, Humanities Council, Hawthorn Foundation, Missouri Development Finance Board, Missouri Housing Development Commission, Missouri Seed Capital Investment Board, Small Business Fairness Board, and the Missouri Technology Corporation. Economic regulation would include the Public Service Commission and the Office of Public Counsel. Work force development would remain unchanged from its current form.

3. Transfer the Customized Training Program from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to the Department of Economic Development.

4. Transfer the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs from the Department of Economic Development to the Office of Administration and coordinate the commission's economic and employment responsibilities with the designate it as an advisory body to the Office of Work force and Supplier Diversity.

5. Transfer the Missouri Women's Council from the Department of Economic Development to the Office of Administration and coordinate the council's economic and employment responsibilities with and designate it as an advisory body to the Office of Work force and Supplier Diversity. Following the transfer, the director of the Department of Economic Development should establish an advisory body to assist in efforts to grown women-owned businesses in the state.

6. The Office of Administration should consolidate information, accounting and auditing of state tax-credit program. (Responsibility for administration of the various state tax credit programs would not be transferred.)

7. Transfer oversight of the regional planning commissions from the Office of Administration to the Department of Economic Development. After the transfer, the Economic Development Department director should conduct a thorough review of the statutory duties assigned to the regional planning commissions to identify better methods of coordination and efficiency between the Department and the RPCs.

8. The director of the Department of Economic Development should initiate regular discussions between the work force investment boards and the regional planning commissions to better coordinate their respective efforts on a regional basis.

9. The director of economic development should examine utilizing the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board as an agency to better coordinate efforts of state government with Small Business Administration programs at the federal level.

10. Consolidate all appeals of administrative decisions of the executive branch of state government, except decisions of the Public Service Commission and the Division of Workers' Compensation, under an expanded Administrative Hearing Commission in the Office of Administration.

11. Centralize investigations of all internal complaints of discrimination originating within state government in the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.

12. Centralize legal representation related to housing discrimination, employment discrimination and public accommodation matters in the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.

13. Combine the Missouri Workers' Safety Program and the On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program within the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

14. Expand the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission by two positions.

15. The Missouri Department of Transportation should explore ways to contract with county road departments or private contractors for the maintenance of certain state highways that are primarily used as local or county roads or MoDOT may designate counties or groups of counties that would be large enough to form an economic unit sufficient in size to attract private contractors to bid on all MoDOT work in this unit.

16. Encourage objective, performance-based, results-driven service delivery systems in state government, similar to MoDOT's Tracker system.

Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education, Higher Education:

1. Create a cabinet-level secretary of higher education who would be appointed by the governor. This position would replace the current commissioner of higher education.

2. Create a cabinet-level secretary of elementary and secondary education who would be appointed by the governor. This position would replace the current commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

3. Change the makeup of the nine-member Coordinating Board for Higher Education to consist of the following members:

* The University of Missouri System president.

* One chancellor from a campus of the University of Missouri System.

* Two presidents from the other public four-year colleges and universities.

* Two presidents from Missouri's public community colleges.

* One president from Missouri's independent colleges and universities.

* Two lay citizens.

No more than two members of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education shall reside in any single congressional district. The secretary of higher education would be an ex-officio member of the Coordinating Board of Higher Education.

4. The curators of the University of Missouri System should explore ways in which the University of Missouri System can become more responsive to individual campuses within the system.

5. The University of Missouri Board of Curators should reaffirm its support for the efforts of private support organizations for each campus and encourage them to do independent fund raising to support the endowment and initiatives of the local campuses they support.

6. Transfer responsibility for certifying election results for proposed new community college taxing districts from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to the secretary of state.

7. Transfer the State Anatomical Board from the Department of Higher Education to the Department of Financial Regulation and Professional Registration.

8. Transfer to Vocational Rehabilitation in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education these entities: Rehabilitation Services for the Blind in the Department of Social Services, Head Injury programs in the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Governor's Council on Disabilities in the Office of Administration.

9. Transfer the Missouri State Committee of Interpreters from the Division of Professional Registration within the Department of Economic Development to the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Have the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing evaluate the need for licensing of interpreters in Missouri.

10. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education should examine best practices around the country for improving the delivery of services for severely handicapped children.

Department of Corrections and Public Safety:

1. The director of the Department of Public Safety, in consultation with the governor, should appoint Department of Public Safety division directors for divisions that are not overseen by the governor- appointed commission, including the superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the state fire marshal, the commissioner of the Missouri Water Patrol, and the supervisor of liquor control. The adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard should continue to be appointed directly by the governor.

2. The director of the Department of Public Safety should be an ex-officio, non-voting member on the Missouri Gaming Commission.

3. The Department of Public Safety should assume the leadership position and responsibility for creating and overseeing a statewide emergency communications system.

4. The duty of processing applicants for the Disassociated Persons Program should be transferred from the Missouri State Highway Patrol to the Missouri Gaming Commission.

5. The Department of Corrections should examine options for privatization of offender services.

6. The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency should be the lead agency in the preparation of emergency response information.

7. The Division of Fire Safety and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency should coordinate efforts in the area of hazardous materials training.

8. The Department of Public Safety should plan future expansions of evidence control facilities to include integration of evidentiary functions between the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri State Water Patrol.

9. The Missouri Automated Road Report Telephone Services should be transferred from the Missouri State Highway Patrol to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

10. The Crime Victims Compensation Fund should be moved from the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and instead be operated by the Missouri Victims of Crime Office in the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

11. The administration of the Domestic Violence Shelter Tax Credit should be moved from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Social Services.

12. The State Emergency Management Agency should report directly to the director of the Department of Public Safety.

Interdepartmental Coordination Councils:

1. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Job Creation and Economic Growth led by the Department of Economic Development including members designated by the directors of the Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, Economic Development, Elementary and Secondary Education, Higher Education, Labor and Industrial Relations, Natural Resources, Revenue and Transportation to better coordinate the state's efforts for job creation and economic growth including:

* Promotion of business development and marketing of Missouri products and services nationally and internationally.

* Education of Missouri's work force to meet the needs of employers through skills education, customized training and work force development.

* Advertising.

* Use of tax credits and other economic incentives.

* Economic development-related transportation projects.

* One-stop shop, electronic filing of all necessary state government required information for new or expanding businesses, especially small businesses, to ease the paperwork burden on new or expanding businesses in Missouri.

2. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Lifetime Learning led by the Department of Higher Education including members designated by the directors of the Departments of Corrections, Economic Development, Elementary and Secondary Education, Health and Senior Services, Higher Education, Labor and Industrial Relations, Mental Health, and Social Services to better coordinate the state's efforts to provide a stable continuum of learning pre-kindergarten through post-secondary education including:

* Curriculum, mission, budget, and educator certification for elementary and secondary education and higher education.

* Pre-school, early childhood education and children's issues.

* Education for disabled Missourians and children with emotional disorders.

* Education for Missourians in correctional and youth services facilities.

* Vocational and workplace skills education.

* Post-secondary education preparation.

* Education as part of the state's economic development.

3. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Information Technology and Customer Service led by the Office of Administration including members of designated by the directors of all departments of state government to better coordinate and update the state's use of information technology for better customer service to the users of state services, equipment acquisition, and utilization.

4. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Laboratory Services and Utilization led by the Department of Health and Senior Services including members designated by the directors of the Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, Health and Senior Services, Natural Resources, Public Safety and the University of Missouri to better coordinate the state's laboratory services and utilization of laboratory facilities for:

* Environmental health risk assessment.

* Environmental emergency response.

5. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Water Quality led by the Department of Natural Resources including members designated by the directors of the Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, Economic Development, Health and Senior Services, Natural Resources, Public Safety, and Transportation to better coordinate the state's water protection and water resources including:

* Water resource protection, monitoring and improvement.

* Clean water, drinking water safety, and homeland security of Missouri's drinking water supply.

* Wastewater and runoff.

* Well construction and design.

* Flood and drought management.

* Interstate river issues.

* Dam safety.

* Overall state water planning.

6. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Healthy Children led by the Department of Social Services including members designated by the directors of the Departments of Economic Development, Elementary and Secondary Education, Health and Senior Services, Mental Health, Revenue and Social Services to better coordinate the state's efforts to:

* Assure access to health care for children while reducing the number of uninsured.

* Prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect.

* Provide effective youth rehabilitation services.

* Collect and distribute child support payments.

* Prepare Missouri's children to enter school ready to learn.

7. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination council for Rural Affairs led by the Department of Agriculture including members designated by the directors of all departments of state government and a member representing University of Missouri Extension to better coordinate the state's efforts to:

* Address the unique interests and needs of rural Missouri.

* Effectively provide state government services in rural Missouri.

* Coordinate the state's soil and water conservation programs.

* Coordinate rural transportation planning and projects.

8. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for State Service Delivery Efficiency led by the Office of Administration including members designated by the directors of all departments of state government to pursue efficiencies through privatization of the delivery of state services, re-examine the 2004 recommendations of the legislative Subcommittee on Competition and Privatization, to establish state government-wide criteria for when privatization of state service delivery should be considered by the departments of state government, and to establish an ongoing system for collecting feedback from Missourians on the quality of state services delivered to them.

9. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for State Employee Career Opportunity led by the Office of Administration and supported by the State Personnel Advisory Board including members designated by the directors of all departments of state government to review the state's current merit system for state employees, to review its effectiveness in today's world, and to make recommendations to the governor and General Assembly to reform the system to meet the demands of today's workplace and management of state government.

10. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for State Mental Health Services to be led by the Department of Mental Health to coordinate mental health care where services are delivered, and may include members designated by the directors of the departments responsible for corrections, juvenile justice, foster care, children's division and school systems to eliminate redundancies in the provision of mental health and behavioral services to children, adults and families.

11. Create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Offender Re-entry to be led by the Department of Corrections including members designated by the directors of the Departments of Economic Development, Elementary and Secondary Education, Health and Senior Services, Mental Health and Social Services and the Office of the State Courts Administrator to continue to improve the offender re-entry process. These efforts should be made in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, the federal government, and partners in the community.


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