Opinion

Lynne: Good government

Author: Jared Wright - November 30, 2016 - Updated: April 17, 2018

Donna-Lynne.jpg
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne

While pundits and pollsters will be studying the 2016 national election for months to come, it is safe to say that Americans clearly want a government that listens to their needs and delivers results. Coloradans are no different.

The Hickenlooper administration prioritized “good government” from the start, and this election underscores how important it is to continue and expand this work. We believe good government is a non-partisan idea that focuses on delivering measurable, cost-effective results for our customers by using data and the best thinking across sectors.

In early 2016, Gov. Hickenlooper created the role of chief operating officer, and combined it with the lieutenant governor, to help move our good government efforts forward even further. As COO, my role is to help our state agencies coordinate better, improve customer service and deliver results in a transparent, efficient and effective manner.

A cornerstone of this work is the State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive and Transparent (SMART) Government Act, first passed in 2010. The SMART Act requires each agency to develop a performance plan that outlines major goals and success metrics, providing transparency on what state government is doing with your tax dollars. With this year’s SMART Act hearings approaching in December, now is a good time to talk about the state’s nationally recognized good government efforts.

Our statewide Lean process improvement program was started in 2011 by Henry Sobanet, director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting. Leveraging the best private sector thinking, the program helps agencies speed up processes, eliminate waste and better meet customer needs. Started in 2014, the Results First initiative helps identify the most cost-effective programs at delivering evidence-based results. Our Performance Management Academy was launched in 2014, and helps train top leaders to run agencies more efficiently and effectively through better performance plans. And in 2015, the governor named David Padrino the state’s first chief performance officer, tasked with coordinating and expanding the governor’s good government program, and David now works on my team as chief of staff.

We recently took another step forward with the launch of the Governor’s Dashboard. Anyone can go online and see a one page snapshot of our performance on major goals, and dig deeper to see the actions we’re taking to deliver results. You can find our dashboard and agency performance plans via: www.colorado.gov/governor/priorities, and we encourage you to share your feedback with us.

Why should the public care about all this? Here are just a few examples of improvements driven by our good government work:

  • In a world where cybersecurity risk is exploding, the Office of Information Technology set a goal in 2014 to reduce the state’s information technology risk — and then cut that risk in half in two years.
  • The Department of Labor and Employment started focusing on customer satisfaction with their services and improved from 67 to 88 percent in just two years, with recent quarterly figures coming in above 95 percent.
  • The Division of Motor Vehicles has focused on reducing wait times in state offices, and has brought the once roughly one hour average down to about 20 minutes for most people this year.

We’re also pursuing new opportunities to deliver results and save taxpayer money — by expanding our process improvement program, exploring the savings from deploying behavioral economics in our service delivery, further integrating our budget work with performance measurement, and doubling down on broad customer service improvements through better technology.

Coloradans expect government to listen and to deliver. And we know there’s still a lot more work to do. But in partnership with the Legislature, we believe a focus on good government can help us restore the public’s faith.

Jared Wright

Jared Wright

Jared Wright runs the business side of Colorado Politics, including circulation, advertising and marketing. He started as CEO and Publisher of the Statesman in 2015 and served as editor-in-chief for the journal during part of that time. He has worked in politics at both the state and federal levels, serving on a U.S. Congressman’s staff and working in government affairs in the private sector. Wright was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2012 and served as member of Colorado’s 69th General Assembly from 2013-2014. He is also a writer, photographer and cartoonist.