Gov. Carney releases fourth annual GEAR Board report

WILMINGTON — Gov. John Carney on Wednesday released the fourth annual report of the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board.

In February 2017, Gov. Carney established GEAR by executive order to identify ways for state government to operate more efficiently, improve the delivery of state services and provide cost savings over the long term.

“Over the last four years under the GEAR umbrella, all three branches of government have worked on initiatives to improve the quality and efficiency of how we deliver state services,” said Gov. Carney. “As a result, state government was much better positioned to address the financial, human resource, customer service and technology challenges presented by the pandemic — and we will emerge even stronger.”

The report highlights key accomplishments across state government in 2020, including:
• Saving millions of dollars for taxpayers through lease restructurings, banking services consolidation, employee health care benefit initiatives and energy-efficiency projects.
• Adopting COVID-19-safe practices in the state workplace that have also saved millions in travel costs and thousands of person-hours through telework, videoconferencing, virtual hearings and public meetings, and virtual employee training and onboarding.
• Doubling the GEAR P3 Innovation and Efficiency Award program that rewards state employees who demonstrate successful implementation of innovative, cost-saving, continuous-improvement projects.
• Unveiling a strategic plan for the state’s largest agency, the Department of Health and Social Services, that promotes continuous improvement and increased efficiencies with a focus on a person-centered approach to service delivery.
• Expanding high-speed, broadband internet service in Delaware’s underserved areas through public-private partnerships.

The board report, released each December, also provides policy and budgetary recommendations for possible inclusion in the governor’s agenda and budget for fiscal year 2022. Gov. Carney’s budget proposal will be released Jan. 28. Additional viewing information will be announced closer to the event.

Recommendations in the 2020 report include:
• Supporting legislation and policies that enable agencies to make permanent certain efficiencies achieved during the COVID-19 emergency.
• Driving the evolution of digital government to improve the experience of customers that transact business with the state.
• Supporting EdGEAR, a collaboration of leaders from the Department of Education, K-12 schools and GEAR, focused on generating efficiencies across public education.
• Implementing the GEAR training curriculum focused on LEAN Government, project management, program management and the development of leadership skills.
• Growing the GEAR field team to support continuous-improvement initiatives in more state agencies.
• Continuing to drive efficiencies through human resources and information technology centralization efforts.

“GEAR continues to expand its efforts to engage as many agencies as possible in initiatives that will deliver efficiencies and cost savings statewide,” said James Myran, executive director of GEAR, and Bryan Sullivan, director of management efficiency at the Delaware Office of Management and Budget.

“We are growing the GEAR field team by implementing advanced training to expand the number of state employees skilled and dedicated to leading process-improvement initiatives. The state’s business processes are becoming more efficient, generating savings of time and money and improving the quality of interactions with citizens.”

Read the 2020 annual report for full details.