Government efficiency

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EVERY once in a while, we get insight into just how much waste there is in local government, and how much better public services could be if public officials would only take their financial responsibilities more seriously. A prime example comes from the county of Los Angeles, which – much to the credit of the supervisors – came to the realization a few years back that it could spend its pension and workers’ compensation funds far more efficiently. So the supervisors hired Rocky Armfield to be the county’s risk manager, charging him with bringing down costs. It’s worked – fabulously. In the last year, the cost of county workers’ comp claims has dropped from $324 million to $273 million. As far as anybody knows, this is the first time – ever – that county workers’ comp costs have actually gone down from one year to the next. But the savings don’t end there. Bogus claims that didn’t need to be paid last year won’t need to be next year, either, or any of the following years. The savings compound such that by 2011, county officials predict they will be saving $600 million a year. What made these incredible savings possible? First is the workers’ comp reforms that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger implemented. Then comes common-sense, bottom-line driven management – an all-too-rare commodity in the public sector. Since 2003, the county has aggressively gone after fraud and abuse, resulting in immediate savings as well as the long-term benefit of deterring more of the same. The county has also aggressively fought more legal claims, settling less and winning more cases, while reducing its reliance on outside counsel. Kudos to county leaders, who have proved that government efficiency neded not be an oxymoron, and it’s far better than raising taxes.last_img

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