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Commission on Excellence Releases Final Report
Annapolis, MD (February 4, 2014) – Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman today released the findings of the Commission on Excellence, a citizen group established to conduct a top-to-bottom review of Anne Arundel County government operations. The Commission was established by County Executive Neuman shortly after being named County Executive. As part of County Executive Neuman’s commitment to an open and transparent government, the Commission’s role was to review the operations, policies, procedures and processes of every county department.
“What I learned early on was that we were as much as 20 years behind in some of our processes and technology, and that inefficiency costs taxpayers dollars,” said County Executive Neuman. “I wanted this group to have complete, unfettered access to every department, every manager and our employees to determine what we are doing well, identify areas that need improvement and help to determine where we could find cost savings to benefit taxpayers. The group put in long hours and they were very detailed in their findings. The one thing that they all agreed on is that we have a dedicated group of employees in Anne Arundel County who care about their jobs and the citizens they serve,” County Executive Neuman added.
The Commission on Excellence was made up of 45+ citizens from neighborhoods throughout Anne Arundel County. The group possessed a variety of professional backgrounds, skills and experience. The members were organized into six teams with each team assigned to review 3-4 county departments. The teams conducted a series of thorough interviews with the departments’ management and staff, collected and analyzed information about the departments’ programs and processes, and compared the departments with their peers in other Maryland counties, when applicable.
Each team submitted a written report of their findings, and presented their recommendations in person to the County Executive, Chief Administrative Officer, and each department head.
The reports identified a number of strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to improve efficiency across all areas of county government. They identified best practices and recommended actions to increase productivity and budget savings. While many of the recommendations were specific to an individual department, a number of common themes were reflected in the Commission’s reports. To download the full report click here.
Technology – Whether it’s applying for a building permit, reserving a field for a youth sports league, or reporting a pothole in need of repair, the county’s current processes are often paper-based and time-intensive. Residents need to be able to interact with the county in ways that are more convenient and require less effort. Technology solutions will enable many of these processes to be brought online.
People – With many long-time employees nearing retirement, the county faces challenges in maintaining the skilled workforce needed to provide services to the community. While the county has traditionally relied heavily on internal training, alternative solutions are needed. The county should better leverage local resources such as Anne Arundel Community College to develop training and certification programs specifically for county government careers.
Processes – Processes which are duplicated between departments create unnecessary costs. Consolidating the county’s maintenance garage operations, centralizing the management of county office space, and partnering with other jurisdictions when purchasing large equipment (county vehicles, police cars, and fire trucks for example) offer opportunities for reducing the costs to taxpayers.
Office of Administrative Hearings
Office of Law
Office of Budget
Department of Public Works
Anne Arundel County Public Library
Department of Inspections & Permits
Department of Recreation and Parks
Department of Detention Facilities
Following the release of the Commission on Excellence findings, Chief Administrative Officer Karen Cook will begin prioritizing the Commission’s recommendations and developing an implementation schedule based on a phased-in approach. The Commission on Excellence team members have the option of remaining in an advisory capacity and will receive periodic status updates on the progress of the implemented recommendations.