BLOG: GO-TIME Making Government that Works Better

By: Sharon Minnich, Secretary of Administration

February 05, 2016

As a successful businessman, Governor Wolf had to reinvent his family’s company in order to save it from bankruptcy. He understood that the company needed to embrace change to return to prosperity and have a stable future.

It is with this understanding that the governor created GO-TIME as a “change agent” within state government focused on modernizing operations, improving services and generating savings for our shareholders – the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.

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Along with setting an ambitious goal for GO-TIME to save $150 million during the current fiscal year, the governor also established the framework for how those savings should be achieved. As the governor said when he announced the office, “In transforming my company, I didn’t do it by cutting, I did it by doing things better.”

To date, state agencies have identified over 200 projects and initiatives that will contribute to the governor’s savings goal for 2015-16 and beyond. These are savings that can be reinvested into programs or services to benefit all Pennsylvanians allowing agencies to do more with less.

Some of these are already saving tens of millions of dollars for Pennsylvania taxpayers, including:

  • Improving Procurement StrategiesCommonwealth agencies spend more than $3 billion per year on goods and services. By conducting a thorough examination of existing contracts, applying commercial best practices and reintroducing reverse auctioning to procurement, the Department of General Services will save a projected $100 million in 2015-16.
  • Transforming Data Centers: Faced with increasing demand for capacity, aging hardware and limited space, the Office of Administration is transitioning to a fully-outsourced data center with the flexibility to increase and decrease capacity based on current demand. The new operating model has saved $9.2 million in 2015-16 and is expected to save $18.3 million in 2016-17.
  • Consolidating Mailrooms and Services: The Department of General Services has begun to consolidate outgoing mail services for a number of agencies, generating savings from presorting, volume discounts, reductions in staffing and equipment, and repurposing space previously used for mail activities. Presorting of outgoing mail alone saves taxpayers over $34,000 per week.

To that end, GO-TIME is focused on collaboration, partnerships and continuous improvement to help make Government that Works better for Pennsylvanians.

Continuous Improvement

You can find many government services online, such as filing taxes and registering a vehicle.  Paper forms still exist and are inconvenient for citizens, cumbersome to employees and, in many cases, result in valuable data being locked away in filing cabinets. GO-TIME is helping agencies “go electronic” by sharing examples of past successes, expert advice and information about technical solutions in the marketplace.

PA Online Voter Registration logo

Some examples of progress in this area last year include the launch of Online Voter Registration, Labor and Industry’s redesigned UC.PA.gov, putting cabinet expenses online, DMVA’s Veterans Registry and Online Donations, and the PennDOT’s plow-tracking.

By adopting more modern processes, we can improve services to citizens, increase employee efficiency and make better use of data to support management and decision-making.

Agency Collaboration

State government is a big place; dozens of agencies, hundreds of work sites and tens of thousands of employees working across Pennsylvania in almost every profession imaginable. Many of our agencies have been recognized nationally as leaders in innovation, best practices and effectiveness.

GO-TIME is working to “connect the dots” across this vast enterprise to help us get the most value from our existing capabilities and resources.

  • PennDOT is nationally-recognized for its use of mobile apps to increase employee efficiency and streamline operations.  Through GO-TIME, other agencies are taking advantage of PennDOT’s in-house expertise to bring new mobile services online.
  • The Department of Community and Economic Development has a robust electronic system for processing grants that it is being made available to other agencies to streamline their grants processes.
  • The Department of Revenue has document imaging equipment and capabilities that can be leveraged by other programs that need to convert forms, mail and other documents into digital format.
Creative Partnerships

Pennsylvania’s world-class universities, research facilities and businesses are another opportunity for GO-TIME to bring new ideas into state government.

Innovative programs like the MobilePA Challenge demonstrate how we can partner with external organizations in ways that are mutually beneficial. Through this program, GO-TIME matches state agencies with faculty and students at PA colleges and universities to work on mobile technology projects.

This fall, students at Harrisburg Area Community College created a mobile-friendly web application for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to improve online access for crime victims to information about organizations and programs in their communities. The new online service will be made available to the public next year.

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