It was a typical government news release on a typical day earlier this month, and I almost overlooked it.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s office had emailed the release about DePasquale cutting the department’s car fleet by 65 percent, resulting in a savings of more than $750,000 annually.
I skimmed the release, vaguely looking for a news angle in what seemed like everyday governmental puffery (“Look what a great job I’m doing!”) and was about to delete it when I stopped.
The amount of money DePasquale says he has saved his department since taking office in 2013 is far from insignificant: It’s more than $1.2 million annually.
And then I stopped to think about this from a business perspective instead of from a government perspective.
DePasquale knows the amount of money his department is allocated each year. And instead of continuing the way the department had been run and complaining that he wasn’t getting enough money, he started thinking like a CEO: How can I cut costs? How can I improve efficiency? What simple steps can I take to reduce wasteful spending so that I can spend more money where it’s needed?
In addition to trimming the department’s fleet, he’s reduced office space and saved on leasing costs. Reduced printing costs by insisting on the use of technology to share information. Reorganized the department to reduce administrative layers (something that we all know is a pain when dealing with the government).
If you look through DePasquale’s background, you’ll see a pattern of fiscal accountability and transparency -- traits that are often sorely lacking in government but are paramount in business.
So today, I say kudos to Eugene DePasquale. Here’s to finding creative solutions to work within your budget.
To read more about DePasquale’s actions during his time as auditor general, as well as his time in the state House, click here.
In case you were wondering, legislators didn’t come running back to the Capitol to discuss pension reform despite Gov. Tom Corbett’s call to do so.
The House reconvenes Aug. 4, and here’s what’s on the agenda.
The Senate reconvenes Sept. 15, and here’s what they’ll be working on.
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