Mark David Richards
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ANTHONY A. WILLIAMS
From Management Reform To Performance Management
Testimony of Mayor Anthony A. Williams
Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on the District of Columbia
U.S. House of Representatives
June 30, 2000
Chairman Istook, Congressman Moran and other members of the
Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today on management reform
in the District of Columbia. The original management reform agenda was an ambitious
attempt to revise the way the District government did business. Its objectives were the
right ones, but there were flaws in the agenda's execution. Furthermore, when I became
Mayor I recognized that the remaining management reform initiatives alone were not
sufficient to make this government work for the residents of the District of Columbia.
Upon assuming office I initiated a comprehensive approach to
performance management that focused on defining goals, getting results and holding people
accountable for achieving those results. We incorporated selected management reform
initiatives into agency strategic plans and, more importantly, agency strategic plans
addressed many of the goals of the management reform agenda if not all of the specific
initiatives. Finally, the management reform agenda promised substantial cost-savings that
have yet to be met. My administration is committed to achieving significant and lasting
productivity savings this year, in FY 2001 and beyond.
Assessing Management Reform
The Management Reform agenda pre-dates my administration
it was established by the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and
Management Assistance Authority ("the Authority") and the Chief Management
Officer (CMO) in FY 1998. The Office of Budget and Planning tracked management reform
expenditures closely in FY 1998 and 1999 and has shared those records with the General
Accounting Office (GAO) over the last several months. The Office of the Chief Financial
Officer issued a report assessing FY 1998 Management Reform results that was shared with
Committee staff in July 1999 and with GAO in February 2000. The key shortcomings of the
Management Reform agenda that report identified included:
- Unclear definitions of management reform and unclear criteria
for project selection
- Division of accountability for programmatic and financial
- Delay in implementation after initial plans were submitted to
- Emphasis on expenditures within a set time frame over achieving
project results, even if it meant completing projects later than expected
- Performance measures that were unclear or unmeasurable
Rebuilding from the Ground Up
When I took office, the management challenges my
administration inherited were daunting:
- A workforce rarely held accountable in a consistent manner.
- An organizational culture that is resistant to change.
- An infrastructure devastated by years of deferred maintenance
and disinvestment, and
- A lack of adequate technology.
Faced with these conditions, I ordered agency directors to
stop for a moment and to take a fresh look at the condition of their agencies from top to
bottom. How did the people, processes and systems they had in place support our commitment
to providing better services of all kinds to the residents of the District of Columbia?
- Assessing which of their senior managers could contribute to
retooling their agencies and which could not;
- Identifying agency practices and processes that made sense
versus those that were continued out of habit;
- Determining which information systems were state-of-the-art,
adequate to support the agency's mission, or at-risk of not making it through the Y2K
Comprehensive Approach to Performance Management
Throughout my campaign and in my first days in office, I
recognized that the District lacked a unifying strategic vision that incorporated the
priorities of the residents and the best thinking of agency directors and their staff. At
the same time, I knew that the residents had little patience for a long planning cycle-we
needed immediate results. We initiated the Short-term Action agenda, a set of initiatives
to demonstrate rapid, visible improvements in basic services within one year or less.
As agency directors implemented the Short-term Action agenda,
I also instructed them to develop long-term strategic plans. The unfinished management
reform initiatives were among the many options directors were to consider, but not all of
the projects were going to continue in FY 1999. In establishing strategic plans, directors
were to make tough assessments of their organizations' strengths and competencies;
question what businesses their agencies were in and what businesses they should get out
of; and identify strategies for innovation.
Most importantly, agency strategic plans were to include
concrete deliverables, specific deadlines and meaningful measures of progress and success.
I've set up performance contracts based on these strategic plans with my Agency Directors
so that they know exactly what they are responsible for delivering. I'm going to evaluate
their progress twice a year and their job security depends on their effectiveness.
However, in formulating my strategic priorities I needed to be
certain that we were establishing and achieving goals that mattered to the residents. I
decided to do something a little untraditional and empowered citizens to set priorities
for our government. So I held a citizen summit in November. More than 3,000 residents
answered the call and came to help me set priorities for the city and their neighborhoods.
We compiled those comments and used citizen priorities to put
together the FY 2001 budget. I also used them to develop a citywide strategic plan-with a
set of very specific, measurable goals for every agency of our government. Using the
citywide plan as a template, throughout 2000-2001 residents will be engaged in a
Neighborhood Action planning process that provides communities an opportunity to establish
their own unique neighborhood priorities.
A Government That Works Better
The Short-term Action Agenda was critical to regaining the
faith of our residents and energizing District employees. Initiatives included reducing
electrical and building permit processing times, targeting open-air drug markets in six
communities, eliminating backlogs of home improvement loans, and establishing extended
hours at District agencies which residents could not conveniently visit during the working
day. We achieved a gratifying 90 percent success rate on the Short-term Action agenda, but
short-term initiatives were only a down payment. They built trust and confidence, and they
gave us a little momentum.
The District is also achieving success in tackling
long-standing problems. While my administration did not pursue many of the original
management reform initiatives, we have addressed and continue to address the broad themes
of customer service, business process improvement, financial management, and workforce
investment. We have successes we can point to in all of these areas and delays we can cite
as well. I will only describe a few examples today.
The Citywide Call Center: While management reform
initiatives addressed customer service agency-by-agency, a common refrain among residents
was that there was no one place to call for help from the District government. We
committed to establish "One Number" for agencies and launched the Citywide Call
Center in April 1999. Residents now have an easy-to-remember number 727-1000
and we track performance data on frequently requested services and how long it takes to
resolve them. Lessons learned in the operation of the Call Center have helped us to
establish uniform standards for phone service quality District-wide. During FY 2000, we
are tracking the quality of service of call center operators and of operators at selected
Establishing a Department of Motor Vehicles: Poor
quality customer service at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles was legendary when the agency was
a division of the Department of Public Works. Under Management Reform, the District
created a separate DMV and set ambitious goals for the reduction of wait and service times
for drivers license, registration, auto inspection and traffic adjudication transactions.
The agency struggled in achieving its performance targets during FY 1999, but over the
last eight months DMV has taken innovative and aggressive steps to drastically reduce
service times including extended hours, express lines, satellite centers, credit card
transactions and customer service training. As recently as February average service times
(the time to wait on line and complete the transaction) for drivers' licenses exceeded 80
minutes as of May 2000 the average service time has dropped to 35 minutes. Average
registration renewal service times have dropped from more than 40 minutes in March to less
than 19 minutes in May. We need to sustain these improvements and improve performance in
other areas including adjudication, but I truly believe DMV has turned the corner.
Personnel Management: Since the arrival of the new
Director of the D.C. Office of Personnel, we have made significant progress in initiatives
related to the classification, compensation and evaluation of District employees-many of
which originated as management reform initiatives.
- The Management Supervisory Service, authorized by
Council in 1998, will be implemented in August 2000. This workforce realignment will
enable approximately 1,300 non-unionized managers and supervisors to become members of a
new at-will, merit-based senior service. Participants will receive salary increases that
will bring their salaries in line with the 1999 Federal salary scales for managers and
supervisors. However, they will forego the cumbersome career protection rights that make
real accountability for results difficult.
- Performance Management Program: More than 2,000
management, supervisory and excepted service personnel in agencies under the personnel
authority of the Mayor, independent entities and the receiverships completed training in
the new Performance Management Program from March-May 2000. Personnel in agencies under
the personnel authority of the Mayor are completing FY 2000 Performance Plans this summer
and will complete FY 2001 Performance Plans by October 2000.
- Rightsizing the District Government: The Office of
Personnel is also spearheading the District's rightsizing efforts in partnership with my
Chief of Staff, the four Deputy Mayors, and the Office of Budget and Planning. The
initiative is described in more detail in the discussion of productivity savings below.
A Government That Costs Less
One of the unrealized promises of the management reform agenda
was achieving real and lasting productivity savings. My administration is committed to
making the District government more efficient and to ensuring that savings targets
projected for FY 2000 and FY 2001 are both realized and recurring.
We are committed to achieving the $7.0 million productivity
savings target in FY 2000. We have already saved approximately $1.0 million as a result of
an audit of unused telephone lines and unnecessary service options this year. We project
additional savings from recouping Medicaid reimbursements that the DC Public Schools
Special Education division has historically failed to pursue and through better management
of disability claims throughout District government agencies. Further savings will come
from cell phone account management, energy savings and one-time revenue from vehicles
identified for disposition in the District-wide Fleet Management initiative launched in
The largest source of the FY 2001 projected savings of $47
million will be the District's rightsizing initiative. The District will reduce its
workforce through the elimination of long-standing funded vacancies and attrition through
regular and early retirement during FY 2000. We project that this effort will reduce the
District government by 1,000 FTEs and yield $37 million in savings during FY 2001.
Features of this effort include:
- Agency Staffing Structures: Agencies are creating accurate
organizational chart and position list that can be used in planning over this summer and
into the new fiscal year.
- Vacancy Management: Representatives of each Deputy Mayor, the
Chief of Staff, the Budget Director and the Personnel Director meet weekly to review each
critical hire and promotional request submitted by agencies under the personnel authority
of the Mayor.
- Retirement Incentives: Employees under the full personnel
authority of the Mayor who are eligible for regular or early retirement on or before
September 8, 2000 may be eligible for a lump-sum payment of 50% of an employee's salary,
up to a maximum of $25,000 (pre-tax). A fact sheet that summarizes the key components of
the retirement incentive program is attached.
The remaining $10 million in productivity savings will consist
of initiatives launched this year that will yield continuing savings in FY 2001, including
disability claims management; Medicaid reimbursements; reduced fleet acquisition and
management costs; reduced energy and utility payments; telephone lines and service options
management; and cell-phone account management.
In conclusion, I have not come here to tell you we have met
all of our challenges in the District. I am not even going to tell you we have met half of
them. We are tackling problems that have been more than 20 years in the making. For all of
the successes I can point to with pride, there are 10 more problems to address. However,
through continued diligence I am confident we will reach our goals.
Thank you. I will be glad to answer any questions you may
As of 6/19/00
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TIMELINE: DOWNSIZING INITIATIVE AND MSS
||Management Supervisory Service (MSS)
- June 5 Vacancy management begins
- Org. Charts/Schedule A's completed
- Analysis & oversight by Agencies, Budget, Personnel, Deputy Mayors.
- Retirement incentive rules released
- Retirement calculations printed and available at Servicing Personnel Offices
- Agencies prepare for retirement requests
- MSS pay resolution approved by Council
- Informational memo sent to each MSS candidate publicizing implementation timeline.
- Vacancy management continues thru Oct 1
- July 10-14 Requests for retirement incentives accepted; Incentives granted in
seniority order until funding is exhausted.
- By July 27 Retirement requests reviewed by agencies to determine
"critical" and "essential" positions. Employees notified of their
status by August 4
- July 28 MSS letters delivered to agency directors for signature
- Vacancy management continues thru Oct 1
- August 15 Proposed PS and FTE reduction allocations for each agency completed;
for review by EOM, CA's OFFICE, OCFO
- August 8 Sept. 8: Employees retire (unless they are deemed "critical"
- August 4 MSS letters distributed
- August 18 MSS decisions due
- August 27 MSS pay in effect
- Vacancy management continues thru Oct 1
- Sept 1 Final PS and FTE reductions allocated to agencies' FY01 budgets
- Sept 22 Final day for retirements to be effective for "essential"
- MSS KICK OFF EVENT with the Mayor, Deputy Mayors and Cabinet (after Labor Day)
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RETIREMENT INCENTIVE: FACT SHEET
WHO IS COVERED?
- Employees under the full personnel authority of the Mayor who
are eligible for regular or early retirement on or before September 8, 2000 will be
eligible for the retirement incentive. Uniformed members of the Police and Fire
Departments are excluded.
- Agencies not under the full authority of the Mayor who wish to
offer retirement incentives must first identify the funding source.
- Employees whose positions are deemed "critical" (see
below) can be denied the incentive payment; they cannot, however, be denied retirement
should they choose to retire without the incentive.
- Employees receiving the incentive who are considered
"essential" can be required to stay employed through September 22, 2000.
A "CRITICAL" POSITION IS ONE THAT...
- Is the only position of its kind;
- Is a sole supervisory position;
- Is a court-ordered position; OR
- Is essential to carrying out the mission or functions of the
HOW MUCH IS THE INCENTIVE?
- The incentive is a lump-sum payment of 50% of an employee's
salary, up to a maximum of $25,000 (pre-tax).
- Funding for the incentive payment, as well as annual leave lump
sum payments, is available centrally, through a fund managed by the OCFO and the Financial
- Incentives will be offered as long as sufficient funding is
available. The District expects to retire approximately 600-1,000 individuals through this
program. Agencies that wish to contribute to the funding of the program should notify
their CFO and Personnel.
WHEN CAN EMPLOYEES SUBMIT THEIR REQUESTS FOR THE INCENTIVE?
- Employees can submit their requests for the retirement
incentive July 10-14, 2000. Applications will be prioritized in order of employees'
seniority. Positions designated by agencies as "critical" will be excluded.
WHEN WILL EMPLOYEES BE REQUIRED TO RETIRE?
- The designated departure period for retirees receiving the
incentive is AUGUST 8, 2000 SEPTEMBER 8, 2000. Employees who have been deemed
"essential" by their agency directors can stay through SEPTEMBER 22, 2000.