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Wyoming receives 2016 State Innovation Award

CHEYENNE, WY - Wyoming's Department of Administration & Information has won the 2016 Innovations in State Government Award by the National Association of State Chief Administrators. The award was for Wyoming's Validated Performance Survey and is the first NASCA award received by the state. The competitive award goes to programs and projects which exemplify best practices, assist government officials in innovatively executing their duties, and creating efficiencies in state government.

Wyoming's winning survey program is described in the nomination as a "conservative innovation" which made use of existing budget statutes, policies and resources. By using Google Forms and internal expertise, the agency met the needs of citizens and their elected representatives for government performance measurement at no additional cost to the state.

Over two thousand brief surveys were distributed to 1) state government executives, 2) key customers and stakeholders in the private sector and government, and 3) a random and representative sample of all State of Wyoming employees.  The overall response rate was 94% among executives and over 70% among the other sample groups. The survey results provided measurements of seven customer service metrics.  These metrics, along with regulatory compliance and efficiency, provide the basis of the agency's planning and performance management.

"While the award is for our performance management system, the real news for our agency was the strong positive feedback we received from our customers," said A&I Director Dean Fausset, who received the award at the NASCA Annual Conference on Thursday in Olympia, Washington. Fausset added that, "performance management is important in good times and bad, but it is critical when making hard decisions about the benefits and costs of the services we provide."

Under the leadership of Fausset and Deputy Director Russ Noel, the project was implemented by A&I's Policy & Planning Coordinator, Tim Thorson, with the assistance of Susan Mark of the Wyoming State Library and Human Resources Administrator Patricia L. Bach, and Josh Karabetsos of the Department of Enterprise Technology Services.  Thorson credits former Wyoming State Auditor David Ferrari, who led successful efforts to reform Wyoming state government in the 1990s, as an inspiration.

A summary of survey results and a description of the project are available at ai.wyo.gov. More information on NASCA and the award categories is available at www.nasca.org.