Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced in his State of the State address that he has issued an Executive Order creating a commission to review New York State government’s costly and outdated operations and structure. The Commission is charged with recommending ways to eliminate at least 20 percent of the total number of agencies, authorities and other bodies as well as identifying improvements that can increase efficiency.
The Governor’s Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (“SAGE Commission”) is being created to improve the delivery of government services, increase accountability and save taxpayers’ money.
“The excessive number of agencies and authorities in New York State government has become inefficient, unproductive and frankly unworkable,” said Governor Cuomo. “The SAGE Commission will streamline this bureaucracy and recommend ways to make government leaner, more efficient, and more cost effective for the people of the State of New York.”
The SAGE Commission will complete a comprehensive review of state government, including its structures, operations and processes, with the ultimate goal of saving taxpayers’ money, increasing accountability and improving the delivery of government services.
The SAGE Commission shall commence its work by Friday, January 7, and will report recommendations on agency and authority reorganizations to the Governor by May 1. The Commission will make recommendations for operational efficiencies on an ongoing basis. A final report will be presented to the governor by June 1, 2012.
The SAGE Commission will consist of up to 20 members, including:
- Paul Francis, the Director of Agency Redesign and Efficiency, who will serve as Co-Chair; the Governor will appoint one or more additional Co-Chairs;
- Two members of the New York State Assembly, one recommended by the Speaker of the Assembly and one recommended by the Minority Leader of the Assembly; and
- Two members of the New York State Senate, one recommended by the Temporary President of the Senate and one recommended by the Minority Leader of the Senate.
The Director of the Division of the Budget and the Director of State Operations will serve as non-voting members.
Today, Governor Cuomo also announced that he will introduce legislation to give him the power to submit the SAGE Commission’s plan to the legislature.
Thomas Gais, Director of the Rockefeller Institute of Government said, “Governor Cuomo is right on target in saying that the sprawl of state agencies and authorities greatly hinders effective and efficient government, especially since many of the agencies and authorities have overlapping missions.”
Jonathan Walters, Executive Editor of Governing Magazine, said, “A number of other states including Washington, Virginia and Georgia have undertaken streamlining and efficiency initiatives similar to the one proposed by Governor Cuomo. These efforts have generated concrete ideas for improving government operations and introducing best practices from the private sector.”