(NN&V Staff) – The following is a recently released list of the entire 44 recommendations made by Gov. Jim Gibbons’s “Spending and Government Efficiency” (SAGE) Commission:
1. Centralize billing for third party pay services in Mental Health and Developmental Services (MHDS). Explore data proc-essing improvements and contracted billing services.
2. Staffing ratios in state operated psychiatric facilities need to be evaluated against private sector and national norms.
3. Implement Managed Care for the Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD) groups in the Medicaid program in Clark and Washoe Counties, and expand Managed Care to women and children in four rural counties (Carson, Douglas, Lyon and Storey)
4. Acquire Distributive School Funding (DSA) for the Nevada Youth Training Center (NYTC) at Elko which is currently a high-school-like facility that is paid for with State general funds.
5. Complete the downsizing of the DMV night shift while maintaining the goal of a five-day title turnaround time.
6. Identify and coordinate the activities of all departments, agencies and institutions of the Executive Department that administer programs for the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, or which provide funding to local governments for such programs.
7. Establish a program similar to the US Government Printing Office “GPO Express” schedules, providing steeply dis-counted digital printing, copying, finishing, delivery and other services by vendors on-line and at any of their outlets throughout the State, using access cards which document and bill all transactions electronically.
8. Examine ways to use the Indigent Accident Fund/Supplemental Relief Fund for federal matching funds to the Medicaid and Nevada Check Up programs.
9. Appoint a competent, disinterested third party to review the available options and recommend the most cost effective solution for the DMV auto insurance verification program to reduce the number of uninsured motorists currently driving illegally in Nevada to 10% or less.
10. Close the Nevada State Prison in Carson City immediately.
11. Evaluate a four-day work week for all non-essential Nevada State employees beginning October, 2009.
12. Over two years, beginning July 1, 2009, bring the State Public Employee Benefits Program (PEBP) health care sub-sidy for active Nevada employees and their dependents into approximate parity with those provided to their em-ployees by Nevada private sector employers.
13. Modify retirement benefits for Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) members first employed on or after July 1, 2009.
14. Eliminate all State Public Employee Benefit Program (PEBP) subsidies for anyone who retires after July 1, 2009. Reduce existing subsidies for all plans for all currently retired State employees by twenty-five percent beginning July 1, 2009, and to a total reduction of fifty percent of existing subsidies beginning July 1, 2010. Eliminate all PEBP subsidies for all Medicare eligible retirees effective July 1, 2009.
15. Modify retirement benefits for all Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) members effective July 1, 2009, if legally permissible
16. The Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance Program should be administered and fully funded by the various counties within the State of Nevada. The counties actually collect property tax with the majority of revenue being distributed to governmental entities within a county, so any rebate should be funded at that level.
17. Create a statutory Evaluation and Sunset Commission of not to exceed eleven members, three appointed by the gover-nor, one from his administrative staff and two public members, and a total of eight appointed by majority and minority leaders of each house of the legislature from members of their respective bodies. This commission would make recom-mendations concerning statutorily created state agencies, boards and commissions regarding duplication of efforts, effi-ciencies to be achieved and potential elimination of functions. It would also recommend possible elimination, modifica-tion or continuance of all statutory tax exemptions, abatements and earmarks. The commission would present its find-ings to the Governor and Legislative Commission annually.
18. All state agencies should review the fees charged for services to ensure the fees cover the costs of providing the services. Fees and costs should be reviewed every two years
19. The State should conduct a detailed inventory of all State-owned real estate and buildings along with a portfolio opti-mization review of all leased facilities. An appointed task force should then evaluate the uses for all State owned property and appurtenant water rights, including Nevada System of Higher Education and NDOT real estate holdings, to determine the revenue producing potential of disposing of, leasing, trading, sale-leaseback or development oppor-tunities by way of public/private partnerships. Such development might be financed by private equity and debt, tax exempt Certificates of Participation or other alternative means.
20. Design of a distance-based user fee pilot program by Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and the Re-gional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County should be supported and funded now. A volunteer pilot program should be initiated in 2011, if feasible.
21. Provide State financial support to create a Nevada-oriented marketing and outreach program to supplement the na-tional census advertising campaign.
22. Reinstate the requirement that Proof of Insurance from a licensed Nevada insurance company be presented to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for new vehicle registrations. Pursue programming on the DMV web-site to facilitate issuance of all temporary Proof of Insurance cards through the DMV website secure server.
23. Bulk copies of Driver Instruction booklets should be provided at a cost of $2 per booklet. License applicants who re-turn for additional drive tests beyond the second try should be charged a duplicate fee in recognition of the addi-tional personnel and administrative time and costs.
24. The State should make statutory changes to the interest rates paid on overpayment of taxes and charged on underpay-ment of taxes for both individuals and businesses. The State should adopt the index used by the Internal Revenue Service, as adjusted periodically, for businesses and individuals.
Recommendation #24 was adopted at the April 23, 2009 meeting as an interim Recommendation and sent to the Gover-nor. It will also be included in the June 30, 2009 Report.
25. Nevada’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT) should implement and maintain an Enterprise Web Content Management System capable of hosting agency Web content and Web based applications, providing a single point of access for Nevada’s citizens, while reducing costs.
26. Establish a common email platform for all Executive Branch Agencies.
27. Nevada should significantly improve its State level energy conservation efforts by enforcing its existing energy conserva-tion plan and revising that plan consistent with 2009 organizational, financial, statutory and technical realities.
28. Request appointment of an Interim Legislative Committee to study the Public Works process.
29. Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 408 regarding design-build contracts should be expanded to allow both an increased num-ber of such projects per year and a significantly lower dollar threshold limit on such contracts.
30. In connection with SAGE Commission Recommendation #18 — review of costs and fees — included in the December 31, 2008 Report to the Governor, the following definitions should be adopted.
Fee: A charge made to recover the cost of operating the program or providing the service, including indirect cost (overhead). A fee shall not be used for any purpose other than the actual direct and indirect cost of the program or service being provided to the end user.
Cost: Direct cost of the program or service plus its allocable portion of indirect cost. Direct costs are those that can be identified specifically with a particular final cost objective. Indirect costs are those: (a) incurred for a joint or common purpose benefitting more than one cost objective; and (b) not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. (from OMB Circular A-87)
31. Authorize the Department of Corrections (DOC) to establish an intermediate sanction facility for certain probation viola-tors and offenders, who are determined to be substance abusers. Substance abuse treatment is to be provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
32. Nevada’s information technology future should be defined through a comprehensive strategic planning process organized and developed by the State Information Technology Advisory Board (ITAB). Implementation of the resulting plan should be monitored, measured, and evaluated by a project manager separate from ITAB and the Department of Information Technology (DoIT).
33. Change the Interim Finance Committee (IFC) oversight thresholds as follows:
A) Whenever a request for the revision of a work program of a department, institution or agency in an amount more than $50,000 would, when considered with all other changes in allotments for that work program, increase or de-crease by 10 percent or $110,00, whichever is less, the expenditure level approved by the legislature. (NRS 353.220.4)
B) For gifts and non-governmental grants exceeding $25,000 each and governmental grants exceeding $225,000 each and any grant that involves new employees. (NRS 353.335.5a and 5b)
C) Specifically exclude revision of work program requests for balance forward funds and/or authority to the subsequent fiscal year where legislative authority exists and with no change in purpose; and de-augmentation of expenditure au-thority from any additional IFC approvals. (NRS 353.220.5 ADD 5d), d(i) and d(ii))
D) The legislature shall review and adjust these amounts every six years. (NRS 353.220.5 ADD 5e).)
34. Revise language in NRS 242.131 so that State agencies, boards, and commissions in the Executive Department are not ex-empt from using Nevada Department of Information Technology (DoIT) professional services except for those infrastruc-tures, enterprise architectures, facilities and personnel required for control of the specialized mission of the enterprise.
35. Solicit recommendations for a common telecommunications platform for all Executive branch State agencies and invite the Judicial and Legislative branches, Constitutional Officers, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), and cities and counties throughout the State to participate.
36. Explore the possibility of an exchange of Ely State Prison and Lovelock Correctional Center to companies that specialize in private corrections in return for construction of similar facilities located within existing large population centers to be de-termined by the Board of Prison Commissioners.
37. The Department of Corrections (DOC) should issue a request for proposals (RFP) to evaluate the costs and benefits of privatization of inmate medical and mental health care and the provision of pharmaceutical services.
38. Require directors of cabinet level departments to establish and implement cross training programs for their employees where feasible and practical, within a reasonable time. The goals of any such program should be to 1) help meet peak workloads and improve operational efficiency; 2) offer job enrichment opportunities; and 3) reduce costs by reducing use of outside contracts and/or overtime.
39. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) should perform a detailed analysis and review of all of the existing NDOT maintenance stations throughout the State with a view to eliminating some stations and consolidating others.
40. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) should commission a study of the costs and benefits associated with providing roadway maintenance by NDOT maintenance crews compared to outsourcing the same maintenance activities and develop decision factors for outsourcing such maintenance.
41. Create a communication structure, managed by a Nevada State Grants Coordinator, to facilitate dissemination of grant application opportunities and collaborative application efforts between agencies, county and local governments and non-profits, and identify a resource pool of experts and grant writers to support agencies in preparing applications. Create Grant Writer positions in selected state departments based on availability of grant opportunities.
42. Undertake a pilot project at one or more agencies to implement changes in Nevada’s budget system. The pilot project should present, in the agencies selected, a program budget with clear performance evaluation criteria. The program budget should include funding in broad expenditure categories, as opposed to the three-part line item objects of ex-penditure, and measurable expected results at that level of funding should be included. The program budget can be presented with, or instead of, the traditional line item budget.
43. A method of establishing budget funding priorities based on different levels of expected revenues should be adopted.
44. Increase efforts to reduce costs for prescription drugs in the departments of Health and Human Services and Correc-tions by continuing ongoing programs and investigating new initiatives.