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Government Efficiency and
Accountability Review Board

Financial Services Delivery



Focusing on Finances


 

The Facts: The State no longer routinely utilizes the performance budgeting and strategic planning processes.

Picture of a business person going over her finances on her computer

The Problem


Delaware State Agencies have traditionally operated with significant autonomy. As a result, many administrative and financial service functions are duplicated statewide, resulting in unnecessary expenditures for employee and contractor time, software licenses, and computing service costs. Additionally, financial services which have not been benchmarked against in-kind internal processes, or equivalent private sector processes, are unable to assert they operate with optimal effectiveness and/or at the lowest cost point.

Opportunity


The State will reduce overall financial process complexity and total cost of operation (TCO) by adopting an enterprise financial services delivery model for selected financial and Treasury functions common to multiple Agencies. The Performance Budgeting methodology enables budget decisions to be made about the allocation of limited resources based on the performance of services delivered. The methodology improves the government’s capacity to assess competing claims to limited resources within the budget process. Additionally, decision makers are provided with better information about the performance of programs and policies — thereby shifting the terms of debate from inputs, to outcomes and results, i.e. achievements or failures.

The Strategic Planning Process is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization/entity does, and why it does it. The process creates a view of, and set of actions planned for, the future. A formal strategic plan will assist the Governor, Legislature, OMB, agencies and citizens to clearly identify what objectives the agencies will accomplish within a one- to three-year horizon.

With a new administration, and new budgeting system, the time and environment are right to reinstitute performance budgeting and strategic planning. With these two processes re-instituted, OMB will be able to take key information from agency strategic plans and develop performance dashboard for the Governor. This information will then be used to evaluate resource requests in the context of actual achievements, and thereby allow the preparation of a data-driven budget recommendation for legislative consideration.

Objectives


The program will seek opportunities to consolidate selected Agency financial functions onto common statewide platforms. As an example, the program will identify legacy financial management systems (e.g., Quick Book applications for tracking grants or agencies using separate financial management systems) and recommend the migration of these business processes into FSF, the statewide financial management system.

The Financial Services Delivery program will encourage Agencies to identify opportunities for process improvement in an effort to eliminate bottlenecks currently slowing transaction approvals, reimbursements and related business processes. By documenting and improving critical processes, financial transparency will be improved such that the public will more be able to more easily observe and understand how their tax dollars are spent.

In relation to the efforts to improve budget-related processes, the Financial Services program will seek to reinstitute performance budgeting and strategic planning with the intent to use outcome data to make budget decisions about the allocation of limited resources.
Additionally, the program will create legislation to support continuing the authorization for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) — in consultation with the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee — to sweep Special Fund balances into the General Fund as a measure to both control agency expenditures and clear out unused and underutilized appropriated balances for further use.

Finally, the program team will:

  • Develop a prioritized target list of financial process common across Agencies that, if consolidated, will deliver the highest value to the State through measurable service efficiency and effectiveness improvements, service total cost of operations (TCO) reductions, and reductions to contractor support services
  • Develop a benchmarking methodology to measure the current state effectiveness of financial processes common to all Agencies within the program scope
  • Oversee the progress of projects driving the consolidation of selected processes
  • Ensure that appropriate levels of financial controls are maintained or improved

 

Resources




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