As the state legislature and governor contend with a mounting structural state deficit of more than two billion dollars, the topic of government spending—and the need to make it more efficient—has become inescapable around the Capitol.
In was in that vein that Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, started the GO-TIME program in an effort to find efficiencies.
Now the program’s wrapping up its first year, and the administration has said it’s confident it’ll be an important fiscal tool going forward.
The initial goal for program was to save 150 million dollars in its first year. It ultimately saved a net total of 156 million, and it's seething its sights on a half billion dollars in savings over the next three years.
Sharon Ward, GO-TIME’s director, said a large portion of that money comes from savings on procurements—the things the government buys.
She said state agencies are doing things like creating new contracts with suppliers and renegotiating old ones.
“You know, we believe that the savings we have identified are going to begin to chip away at the structural deficit,” she said.
Ward also said that in the next year, the program will focus more on improving customer service in state agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as making such agencies more efficient to increase productivity.