Governor's Report On Accountability Eliminates Boards, Streamlines Government Agency Regulations Of Business
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2000
SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today accepted the first
report of recommendations of the state’s Government Accountability
Council, which proposed the elimination of boards, commissions and hundreds
of administrative rules in an effort to improve the operations of Illinois’
"This report addresses the need for continuous improvement in
the state’s use of technological innovation, economic development
tools, and customer service methods," Ryan said. "What we
wanted from the Council was substantive proposals on state personnel
issues, such as linking professional development to career advancement;
and that’s exactly what we got. Now we can move on those recommendations."
In his State of the State address, the Governor commended the Office
of Statewide Performance Review for recommending the termination of
dozens of obsolete and inactive boards and commissions. "I challenged
them to look at every program, every regulation in state government,"
Ryan said. "We’re determined to cut government and make it
work better, because here in Illinois, it’s time for government
speak the way our people do–in plain English."
The Council’s first report, delivered by Ed Noha, Council
Chair, contained findings and recommendations on the delivery of state
services with an emphasis on efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.
Noha noted that in the area of state regulatory review and reform,
significant accomplishments were made. Each of the 41 agencies under
the performance review were asked to assess their administrative rules
and determine whether or not they were contradictory to other provisions,
obsolete or achieving the intended result. All agencies were required
to either amend or repeal procedures, which were found unnecessary or
In the end, more than 638 pages of the Illinois Administrative Code
have been recommended for repeal, representing more than 42,000 lines
of code. An additional 411 sections of the code will be amended for
greater clarity. "This is a key first step," said Noha. "The
toughest part of delivering good services to your customer is getting
your own house in order. This is how government turns the corner and
starts focusing on offering better services to the taxpayer."
The report also contains a state agency program performance review.
This section of the report was derived from findings by the Governor’s
Office, and ranks the agencies according to their first year’s
effort to adopt strict performance standards.
The second year of the Statewide Performance Review will include
work to streamline government, assist state agencies in focusing on
their core functions and help measure success toward stated goals. The
Council will meet in the near future to set its agenda for 2000. Already
targeted for examination are the state’s elementary, secondary
and higher education systems.
Ryan noted that making government work better is the hallmark of creating
a competitive state in the New Economy. The regulatory streamlining
recommended by the Council will help Illinois small businesses, another
backbone of the New Economy.
"Many of the recommendations are aimed at improving the Illinois business
climate," Ryan added. "Others will reduce the difficulty citizens
and businesses face when interacting with or receiving services from
the state. These changes can help us in our efforts to continue to grow
our economy, and to attract and retain high-paying jobs in Illinois."
Summary of Findings and Recommendations
the establishment of Executive Order #7 on March 10, 1999, Governor
Ryan created the State Government Accountability Council and the
Office of Statewide Performance Review. This powerful executive
order opened a strong, direct communication link between the Office
of the Governor and the private sector, and began the daunting
process of placing all executive branch agencies on a performance-based
Government Accountability Council was appointed on June 11, 1999.
Composed of business leaders, academicians, former government
officials, private citizens and others, the Council reviewed a
broad array of state issues to select the subject matter that
would serve as the focus of its efforts during 1999.
the fact-finding process, the Council divided itself into task
forces that could work independently to develop recommendations
for the full Council. The task forces included the following:
Regulatory Review and Reform, Service Delivery, Customer Service,
Asset/Liability Management, Economic Development, State Personnel,
and Technology. Over the course of three months, the task forces
conducted numerous agency on-site visits, interviews, focus groups,
and other techniques for assessing the current state of affairs
and the need for change.
the Council met to receive the recommendations of its task forces.
The recommendations were broad in scope and provided numerous
proposed changes in state governmental operations. Many of the
recommendations speak to improving the Illinois business climate.
Others seek to reduce the difficulty citizens and businesses face
when interacting with or receiving services from state agencies.
A variety of recommendations were received which create a blueprint
for embedding customer service goals in the fabric of state government;
other recommendations provide strong suggestions on how Illinois
can excel by taking advantage of technological innovation. After
the task force presentations, the Council members gave final approval
to the inclusion of the specific recommendations in a year’s-end
report to Governor George Ryan.
Council reviewed those state issues it believed could be impacted
immediately, the Office of Statewide Performance Review (OSPR)
conducted a series of program reviews and agency interviews. In
establishing a system of performance management, the OSPR focused
squarely on the issues of management capacity, program performance
measurement, and the structure and location of program administration.
Additionally, the OSPR worked with the various agencies to conduct
a review of administrative rules and boards and commissions on
the basis that these areas impacted the establishment of a performance
the Council recommendations and the OSPR agency assessment provide
both an excellent evaluation of the viability of Illinois state
government and the changes necessary to make Illinois a true leader
among the 50 states.
Council and the OSPR made a great start in 1999, much more remains
to be done. To put it bluntly, we have barely started to scratch
the surface. The following pages of this summary briefly present
some of the more important recommendations contained in the report.
State to Get Handle on Properties
- The Attorney General should hold all land and building
titles, and Central Management Services should be required
to track total acreage owned by the state, by agency,
as well as the condition and use of the land.
- The Administration should study the option of using
private real property managers to lease unused land and
manage state office space.
Illinois Makes Customer Service Heart of State Government
- Embed customer service into the corporate culture of
state government through use of a meaningful service philosophy
and principles, including signage in customer areas and
printing the philosophy on all state business cards.
Customer Service Training Program Key to Success
- Create reliable and consistent customer service experiences
through a new central training facility providing state
employees with a structured, ongoing customer service
training program focused on telecommunications, written
communications (postal and e-mail) and "front desk"
One-Stop Help Desk the Answer
- Study consolidating all existing hotline numbers into
a single, customer service hotline, with each agency/program
paying a fair share for the service.
- One-stop customer service hotline can be an activity
performed by the centralized customer service training
facility (see Customer Service Training Program Key to
Regulatory Relief Proposals
Temporary License Cuts Red Tape for Out-of-State
- Department of Professional Regulation should be allowed
to grant provisional endorsements (temporary licenses)
to out-of-state applicants whose current license is in
good standing, and the department must also have an automatic
repeal power for provisional endorsements should the application
- Health Facilities Have Fewer Bars on Expansions, Purchases
- Eliminate non-clinical projects and purchases from the
Certificate of Need process and reduce the hospital regulatory
burden by 23 percent.
- State Offers Combined Quality and Reimbursement Review
- Combine the Department of Public Aid federal reimbursement
review and the Department of Public Health quality assurance
review into a single review, saving time and money.
- One-Stop Permitting Process for Business
- Businesses regulated by multiple state agencies will
benefit from a team permitting approach where a single
application, review and determination can be made, saving
both industry and the state money and time.
Tax Relief Proposals
- State Consolidates Business Tax Returns: Everyone Wins
Reduce the number of tax returns businesses
are required to file with the Departments of Revenue
and Employment Security to save business money through
reduced paperwork; save the Department of Revenue money
through reduced paperwork, a more even workload and
improved accuracy of error notices; and save the Department
of Employment Security money through a reduction in
- State Guarantees Taxpayers’ Rights in Local Tax
Implement a Local Government Taxpayers’
Bill of Rights requiring local governments (including
home rule) that impose locally administered taxes to
meet minimum fairness standards in the administration
of the taxes, and require local governments to file
copies of taxing ordinances with the Department of Revenue.
- State "Throws Back" Profits to Small Business
- Inject Common Sense into State’s Tax Penalty System
Bring the Uniform Penalty and Interest
Act into line with the IRS and Illinois’ neighboring
states. The state must stop calculating interest on
top of the penalty, end the penalty for not filing when
no tax is owed, reduce the late tax penalty from 20
percent to 10 percent, eliminate the late penalty for
underpaying estimated taxes made in "good faith,"
and adopt a statute of limitation.
- Illinois Ends Anti-Illinois Tax Practice
- State Picks Up Tab for Courts; Property Taxpayers Get
- Consolidate Receivables Collections in Department of
Consolidate receivables collections within
the Department of Revenue (DOR) because the department
is the state’s permanent collections agent. Individual
agencies can seek payment for the first 120-day period
(three 30-day notices) which will recoup the vast majority
of money owed. After 120 days, receivables could be
transferred automatically to DOR for collection action.
This would allow the individual agencies to rid themselves
of duplicate collection efforts. DOR could be allowed
to keep a percentage of the amount collected to defray
costs and be allowed to sell receivables that are no
longer efficient to collect.
- Consolidate Senior Services in One Agency
The Circuit Breaker program falls outside
Department of Revenue’s (DOR) mission. The Department
on Aging (DOA) is viewed by the public as "all
things senior citizen." Locating the program in
DOR is counter intuitive to the citizenry who would
expect to find the program at DOA. This reorganization
would make sense to the public and provide seniors with
a "one stop shop" approach to senior services.
Additionally, the Senior Health Insurance Program, or
at least the customer service portion, should also be
transferred from the Department of Insurance to the
Department on Aging.
- Consolidate Gaming Regulation into One Agency
Combine all gaming regulation and oversight
into one State Gaming Commission. Several agencies currently
have responsibility for various slices of gaming in
Illinois. The Department of Lottery, Department of Revenue,
Gaming Board, Horse Racing Board, and the Department
of Professional Regulation all have one or more gaming
functions they regulate. It appears that all interested
parties would easily benefit from a consolidation of
- Consolidate Truck Regulation Enforcement
Transfer the Illinois Commerce Commission’s
(ICC) police and enforcement duties to the Department
of State Police. The ICC is responsible for ensuring
carriers carry sufficient liability insurance coverage
and has 11 ICC police to enforce the law. In fiscal
year 1999, the average number of citations issued per
officer was 4.5 per week. The State Police could
easily enforce this law as part of their normal safety
inspection procedure when stopping a truck. This consolidation
would eliminate an unnecessary duplication of police
- Consolidate Criminal Investigations in Department of
- Transfer Department of Revenue’s (DOR) criminal
investigations to the Department of State Police (DSP).
The specialized activities of the Investigations Unit
are more compatible with the activities and responsibilities
of DSP. Once DOR makes a determination that a criminal
case will be brought against a taxpayer, the State Police
should handle the case and prepare for bringing it forward
of Statewide Performance Review
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