Pennsylvania efficency program ends first year with $156 million in savings

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

    As Pennsylvania’s lawmakers and governor contend with a mounting structural state deficit of more than $2 billion, the topic of government spending — and the need to make it more efficient — have become inescapable around the Capitol.

    In was in that vein that Gov. 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 will be an important fiscal tool going forward.

    The initial goal for program was to save $150 million in its first year. It ultimately saved a net total of $156 million, and it’s aiming for $500 million 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.

    State agencies are 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,” Ward  said.

    In the next year, Ward said, the program will focus more on improving customer service in the Department of Motor Vehicles and other state agencies, as well as making such agencies more efficient to increase productivity.

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