Harrisburg, PA – A new system developed by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for the Department of the Auditor General (AG) is making it easier for municipalities to receive state aid, according to the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME).
“The new system allows municipalities to cut through the red tape when they apply and provides the auditor general with a faster, more streamlined process for distributing aid,” Secretary Davin said. “Governor Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative consistently encourages departments to share information and work together to solve problems, which ultimately means better customer service. The municipal reporting system in one of several new technologies that DCED is sharing with other agencies and governments to reduce duplication and provide a better return for taxpayers”
Pennsylvania saves taxpayers $140,000 annually since implementing the new tool, according to the Auditor General’s Office.
“Going from a paper-based to electronic filing system streamlined submissions, improved efficiencies within my department and provided better customer service for municipal staff,” said Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. “We’ve heard from municipalities about the ease of the new system which simplifies the process while cutting down on data entry errors.
Under Pennsylvania law, municipalities that wish to receive state aid for pensions and volunteer firefighter funding must apply to the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office by March 31 each year. Prior to 2017, all forms were submitted on paper. The new system streamlines reporting for municipalities and cuts processing time for the Office of Auditor General, which administers the program. The new online process is available on DCED’s Municipal Statistics website.
Last year, over 2,500 municipalities in 66 out of 67 Pennsylvania counties received over $60 million in aid for their local volunteer firefighters’ relief associations in their communities. Additionally, over 1,400 municipalities received almost $290 million for their pension plans covering police officers, paid firefighters and non-uniformed employees. A 2 percent tax on out-of-state casualty and fire insurance premiums funds the program. More information about the Municipal Pension Reporting Program is available online at the Auditor General’s website.
GO-TIME is working to modernize government operations to reduce costs and improve services. GO-TIME works with agencies to identify opportunities to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation. Over the past three years, state agencies have achieved over $373 million in savings while also improving efficiency and customer service as part of GO-TIME. To learn more, go to www.governor.pa.gov/go-time.