Public Strategies Group: Revolutionary Budget Process Underway in Louisiana -- 07/27/2005
The Public Strategies Group
For Immediate Release
July 27, 2005
PSG Contact: Valerie Gunderson (612.728.1180)
Revolutionary Budget Process Underway in Louisiana Wins Prestigious National Accolades for Washington State & Consulting Firm Working Here
The Public Strategies Group Helps Another Client Win an “Oscar” For Reinventing Government
Baton Rouge, La. – A revolutionary budget process that has just been launched by the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (DCRT) and the Office of Lieutenant Governor (OLG) has won national accolades for the state that first used it, Washington, and the public sector consulting firm that inspired the process, The Public Strategies Group (PSG).
One of PSG’s clients, the State of Washington, was named one of 18 finalists for the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award – often referred to as the “Oscars” of government – from the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Washington was chosen from a field of more than 1,000 applicants. At a luncheon ceremony in Washington, D.C. today, another client, the State of Iowa, was named one of six recipients of the institute’s highest award. Both states were recognized for projects designed and implemented in partnership with PSG.
“It is enormously exciting to help our clients achieve award-winning innovation,” said PSG CEO Babak Armajani. “Our goal is to be the world’s number one resource for reinventing government and this recognition shows we are doing that.”
BUREAUCRACY-BUSTING STATE AGENCIES
The State of Iowa won the “Oscar” for launching a bureaucracy-busting innovation PSG calls Charter Agencies. State agencies in Iowa volunteered to sign “charter” agreements with Gov. Tom Vilsack, giving them greater administrative flexibility as an incentive to better deliver public services. In exchange for increased flexibility and authority, Charter Agencies accepted the charge to find better ways to meet citizens’ needs, to be held accountable for those results and to reduce costs and/or generate more revenue. In just the first year of operation, charter agencies exceeded their financial performance targets by 50 percent, generated $22 million of savings for the State and launched scores of customer service improvements.
A WHOLE NEW APPROACH TO BUDGETING
The State of Washington was recognized as a finalist for spearheading a first-of-its-kind budgeting approach that PSG calls Priorities of Government. Instead of cutting or adding to last year’s budget, the state gathers citizen input to prioritize state services and government outcomes. Agencies bid for the right to produce the outcome. Then officials “buy” the results citizens want with available resources.
PSG IN LOUISIANA
PSG began working with the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (DCRT) and the Office of Lieutenant Governor (OLG) in 2005. DCRT’s and OLG’s goals are to become high performing, customer-driven, entrepreneurial government organizations that produce excellent results for their citizens and customers. PSG will work with both offices to implement the “budgeting for outcomes” approach that Washington State utilized and help the state leverage the “cultural economy” -- the economic impact of the businesses involved in culture (such as music, film, art, tourism, hospitality and sports) and other cultural activities (such as parks, libraries, museums and historic sites).
"The goal of my administration is to create a high-performing organization that provides more efficiency and better accountability for the taxpayers' dollars we spend," said Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu. "This transformation project will allow us to build on my administration's strategic plan to create an entrepreneurial, streamlined operation that gives value back to the state and promotes economic development through culture, recreation and tourism."
"I am so pleased to be working with Public Strategies Group on the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism's transformation initiative," said Angele Davis, Secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "When this administration began, we integrated the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Department to work as one agency, which created immediate efficiencies. Now, working with PSG, we will build on this foundation, while exploring opportunities for public-private opportunities, innovations and economic growth for the State of Louisiana."
“We are delighted to be partners with the Lt. Governor and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism to create a new model for government,” said PSG project lead Dr. Camille Cates Barnett. “Their ambitious and courageous leadership will produce great benefits for the people of Louisiana.”
A TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS
This isn’t the first year PSG principals have been involved in the Harvard government “Oscar.” In addition to this year’s win and finalist finish, PSG clients won the award in 1986, 2000 and one was selected as a semi-finalist in 1990. Iowa’s Charter Agencies and Washington’s Priorities of Government were also recipients of the Council of State Governments’ 2004 Innovations Award.
St. Paul-based PSG has six offices located around the country and has successfully led or assisted in the transformation of public organizations at all levels (state, federal and local) and on six continents. PSG works exclusively with public organizations, helping them transform themselves into more effective, customer-focused enterprises. PSG generates about $8 million a year in revenue. The firm has 17 partners and draws on a network of more than 50 consultants around the country. For more information, visit http://www.psg.us.