Performance Study Points to More Efficiencies in County Government

Tulsa County will become better focused on efficient service if recommendations in a 151-page performance report can be implemented.

The report, released Wednesday, is the result of a year-long study on the performance on operations of Tulsa County government, said District Three Commissioner Fred Perry.

An 11-member committee was asked to look at different county divisions and make suggestions about improvement.

Nine divisions were audited with a focus on services provided and a determination as to how and were performance and efficiencies could be made, he said.

Commissioner Randi Miller, 2007 BOCC chairman, launched the study, Perry said.

Miller said the report and recommendations by the committee has the potential to be a blueprint for county government over the next two to four years.

‘I believe that once these recommendations are implemented that we truly will have modernized Tulsa County government,’ she said.

Terry Simonson, deputy county commissioner, said 457 county employees were asked to participate in the survey.

A record 80 percent – 351 – responded to the 29 questions on the assessment survey.

That is unusual, Simonson said. About 30 percent respond in most surveys.
While no suggestions were prioritized, Perry said some were very good and should be adopted immediately.

Others will take longer.

Immediate suggestions include:
* development of a long range cost savings/productivity plan
* exploring ways to bring about a county wide strategic planning process
* putting more emphasis on getting information out to the public about the workings of county government
* conducting an independent, comprehensive compensation study
* conducting a countywide training needs assessment with particular focus on management development needs
* better communication and coordination with the numerous boards, authorities and trusts in which Tulsa County has an interest
* a more formal energy policy as it pertains to conservation measures with county buildings and vehicles
* establishment of an employee suggestion program
* improving the county website to provide better and faster information to citizens looking for county services
* greater focus on risk management and quality controls

Some ideas are intriguing and worthy either of further discussion or investigation by commissioners, deputies and division directors, Perry said.

These include:
* more formalization of the central point of telephone and information contact to streamline the system of disseminating information
* creation of a leadership team called an Administrative Council made up of division directors who can examine in-depth issues facing the operations of county government and make recommendations to the BOCC
* establishment of a Tulsa County Employee Newsletter
* possible creation of a risk manager position or making it a major responsibility of a present position

The audit report makes specific recommendations for each division, Perry said. These will be discussed with each director.

He declined to estimate either program implementation costs, when they might occur or savings to the county.

But the commissioner did observe the current budget is $64 million and if just a two percent savings could be realized, it would amount to something like $1.2 million.

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