DNR: Designated first Enterprise Agency in state government

Secretary Stepp: ‘Concept is simple… fix what isn’t working, encourage what is’

MADISON, Wis. – Gov. Scott Walker today designated the Department of Natural Resources as Wisconsin government’s first Enterprise Agency pilot through a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Administration and DNR.

Under the concept, DNR will be given increased operating flexibility to enable the agency to improve customer service and business support, as well as enhance its natural resources mission.

The pilot will be for the 2011-13 biennium.

“All over Wisconsin people are telling me good things are happening at DNR. We are working with staff to remove barriers to better serve the public and business community to help grow jobs in our state,” DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said. “The ideas for this pilot came from the DNR professionals and represent the best in innovative thinking. With the enterprise agency designation and tools, DNR can do much more with the staff and the resources it has.

“But this doesn’t come free, we will have to perform,” she said, “and we know our progress will be monitored closely.”

Under the Enterprise Agency agreement, DNR has committed to:
* Improve processes to reduce permit times by 5% for major air and water permits while upholding environmental standards;
* Improve communication and interaction with the regulated community to assure environmental permitting requirements are widely understandable and are issued in a timely way through creation of a new Office of Business Support and Sustainability;
* Develop Internet-based tools to streamline and more effectively transmit and track permit applications;
* Increase over-the-counter service at DNR facilities by 40%;
* Improve cost-effectiveness by prioritizing work and eliminating duplicative systems for fleet and facilities construction and repair; and,
* Reduce costs by 2.5% for basic operations, and organize itself into a line authority organization to assure DNR is making consistent decisions across the state.

To achieve these goals, DNR will be given management discretion in the following areas:
* Fleet operations; and,
* Facilities repair and construction.

DNR already has been granted authority to manage and fill vacancies, as have all state agencies.

Initial management strategies for the Enterprise Agency include implementing a line authority system to improve consistency and accountability; better utilizing the web and information tools to streamline and simplify permitting; setting uniform performance expectations for staff and supervisors; and, implementing bi-annual program audits.

“The Wisconsin DNR Enterprise Agency concept is about creating efficiencies that save money, improve customer service, and free our staff for duties that enhance our resources and environment. It’s less bureaucracy,” Stepp said. “We’re after positive outcomes and improvements, not red-tape. That’s the whole point.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773; Laurel Steffes, Director of the DNR Office of Communications 608-266-8109

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Summary of Enterprise Agency Pilot – 2011-13

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The creation of DNR as a two-year pilot Enterprise Agency by Memorandum of Agreement between the Wisconsin departments of Administration and Natural Resources is to test the hypothesis: Given increased operating flexibility, the DNR will be able to produce better outcomes for its customers at less cost than under the standard bureaucratic system.

Negotiated by DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, DNR will test elements of the structure as a pilot. If benchmarks are not met, the agreement will end.

Key Benefits of the Agreement: By gaining efficiencies and cost-savings enabled by the Agreement and reinvesting those fiscal and staff resources, the following benefits will accrue:

Improved Customer Service by:
* Increasing counter service;
* Improving the Department’s web-site;
* Providing customer service training for all staff; and,
* Identifying customer service performance expectations in all DNR staff evaluations.

Improved Cost-Effectiveness by:
* Focusing on highest priority work and eliminating non-essential work;
* Reducing over-head and operational costs; and,
* Increasing revenues.

Improved Management Systems to ensure:
* Integrated natural resource decision-making;
* Excellence in internal and external communications;
* Wisest use of information technology to assist in streamlined delivery of services; and,
* Measurement of progress in meeting goals in all major programmatic areas.

Improved accountability by implementing:
* Line authority;
* Consistent principals for all environmental programs;
* Uniform performance expectations for staff and supervisors; and,
* Bi -annual program audits.

Specifics elements of the agreement:
* Fleet Management – DNR is delegated authority to manage travel and fleet operations.
* Facilities Management – DNR is delegated authority to manage repair and construction of certain facilities.

Broad measurables of the agreement:
* Operating Budgets – Operating costs will be reduced by 2.5% over 2010 base year for facilities management, rent, travel, and other basic operations.
* Customer Service – Over-the-counter customer service will be increased by 40% over 2010 base year.
* Reduced Permitting Times – Through process improvement and other measures, average permit issuance times for major air and water permits will be reduced a minimum of 5% over 2010 levels, with a goal of achieving a 10% reduction.
* Customer Satisfaction – Customer service feedback for selected services and critical business functions will be bench-marked and improvement goals established in first year, and progress measured in the second year of the Agreement.
* Creation of an Office of Business Support and Sustainability to advance enterprise principles and to create industry sector expertise and a point of contact for proposed projects.

Fleet Management Specifics: Overall fleet costs would be lowered and DNR customer service would be enhanced as a result through financially based decisions based on usage and financial history, right sizing the number and type of fleet vehicles and mileage costs; providing vehicles with features specific to staff needs; sharing vehicles with other agencies and local units of government; reducing the need for use of vehicle rentals and personal miles. The Agreement establishes a vehicle procurement plan with a maximum of $3.5 million for each year of the 2011-13 biennium. This would yield a savings in capital expenditures (vehicle purchases and operational costs) of $4.7 million for FY12 and an additional $830,000 in FY13 over four-year average costs under the current system.

Facilities Management Specifics: Overall fiscal and staff costs for both DOA and DNR would be reduced by minimizing duplicative over-sight, improving timeliness, and reducing design and construction costs. For the 2011-13 Biennium, facilities management costs would be reduced by more than $1,125,000 in the 2011-13 biennium. Implemented over a 10-year cycle, the Agreement would generate an estimated $5,625,000 on DNR facilities design and construction costs that could be reinvested in additional projects. The Agreement delegates to DNR the authority to independently perform project management activities including: Project Management, Design, Bidding, Contracting and Construction Oversight. Under the agreement, DNR is committed to bring facilities projects – from park and forest structures and campgrounds to dikes, dams and boat landings — in at or under budget and within schedule, and public users would have a higher degree of satisfaction with DNR recreational facilities. DOA would continue oversight of very complex building projects.