Attachment D – Program and Service Review Summary


 

 

Background

As a government that is focused on high performance and stewardship, it is imperative that the County of Albemarle continuously review the value and effectiveness of the programs and services it delivers to citizens. While the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) strongly believes that overall, departments currently operate very efficiently, the County must always continue to find additional ways to effectively meet mandates, progress towards addressing strategic challenges and provide critical core governmental services and results to citizens. The increasing demands for services, coupled with the desire to maintain and/or reduce costs to citizens, compels the County to examine all existing programs and expenditures to identify potential efficiencies, including the reduction or elimination of certain services.

 

The purpose of the Program and Service Review is to provide information regarding current programs and services to the Board of Supervisors and County administration as they strive to be good stewards of County resources. To achieve this, as part of the County’s long-term Five-Year Financial Planning process, departments were asked to review all current programs and services and identify where reductions would be made if they had to reduce 10% of the total department budget. A 10% target was selected because it would require consideration of not only line item adjustments, but also challenge departments to think critically and innovatively about provided programs, whether services could be delivered through alternative means and what operational efficiencies could be achieved to reduce costs. Departments also considered the impact of any reductions on customers / citizens, future expenditures and revenues, and the timing of any proposed reduction.

 

Results to Date

The items identified through the Program and Service Review that will be implemented in FY 08/09 budget are listed under the below heading, “REDUCTIONS INCORPORATED INTO THE FY 08/09 RECOMMENDED OPERATING BUDGET.” Any identified savings reflect a program or position’s FY 07/08 cost. Please note that this list refers only to items identified in the Program and Service Review and is therefore not a complete list of reductions made in the budget review process. As part of the annual budget process, OMB staff scrutinize all line items in departments’ budgets and make adjustments as necessary.

 

Next Steps

Because the Program and Service Review is conducted within the framework of the County’s Five-Year Financial Plan, numerous proposals identified by departments are unable to be implemented immediately and require additional review. The proposals under the “IDENTIFIED ITEMS REQUIRING ADDITIONAL REVIEWheading will be examined in the upcoming fiscal year and beyond to determine if and when each proposal can be implemented based on its impacts on customers / citizens, future expenditures and revenues. Furthermore, as part of the County’s annual update to its Five-Year Financial Plan, OMB will work with all departments to continue to identify additional items for review and incorporate them into the annual budget as appropriate. Finally, as the County has done in the past, it will work throughout the year outside of the Program and Service Review to examine process improvements and operational efficiencies.

 

REDUCTIONS INCORPORATED INTO THE FY 08/09 RECOMMENDED OPERATING BUDGET

 

Vehicle ($339,955) and Computer ($25,380) Replacement Cycles (Cross-Departmental)

Total Savings: $ 365,335

The replacement cycles for County vehicles and computers has been extended, with an exception for emergency replacement, based on historical replacement schedules and costs. These cycles will continue to be monitored to ensure their adjustment has not resulted in additional operational costs.

 

Senior Employment Services Worker and Mental Health & Substance Abuse Worker (Social Services)

Savings: $124,928

State funding for these positions has not been made available for several years and, as a result, these positions have remained vacant. These positions are beyond the mandated programs and core responsibilities of the department. Because of this and the unlikelihood of funding circumstances changing, these positions have been eliminated.

 

OMB Reorganization (County Executive’s Office)                                                              Savings: $119,534

As an alternative to filling the vacant OMB Director position, this position will be under-filled and the specific roles of OMB and the related duties of several positions will be reorganized in order to meet the core needs of the office and its customers. These savings reflect the cumulative result of under-filling the position and a decrease in the number of FTEs from 3.0 to 2.5.

 

Development Area Master Plans (Community Development)                                             Savings: $65,000

This reduction will not impact the County’s schedule or ability to timely complete master plans for the development areas, but is made to better reflect the historical required workload and expenditures.

 

Housing Program Coordinator (Office of Housing)                                                              Savings: $59,659

This position has been eliminated; its core functions have been reallocated among existing staff in the Office of Housing and County Executive’s Office.

 

Total Rewards - Employee Recognition Program (Cross-Departmental)                             Savings: $25,000

Current funding for this program is $50,000 and is being reduced based on historical expenditures and feedback from departments. In the future, this program will be budgeted on an organization-wide rather than a departmental basis to help ensure departmental consistency.

 

eCivis Grants Locator Contract (County Executive’s Office)                                              Savings: $17,000

The eCivis Grants Locator contract began in 2005 and aimed to assist County departments pursue alternative funding sources and better budget for competitive grants. It was found through periodic surveys that most users were aware of the same grant opportunities through other means (e.g. associations and state agencies), so this elimination will minimally impact County departments and grant revenues, if at all.

 

Gypsy Moth Program (Parks and Recreation)                                                                        Savings: $16,840

With the decline of the gypsy moth in the area due to a naturally occurring fungus, the gypsy moth program has been eliminated. The Department of Parks and Recreation previously managed these duties through a private contract, which can still be utilized should gypsy moth activity increase.

 

 

IDENTIFIED ITEMS REQUIRING ADDITIONAL REVIEW

 

Customer Service Reorganization (Community Development)

This review will focus on a reorganization of those duties primarily related to customer service in the Department of Community Development, including those of the customer reception and Records Management Officer positions. For services to department walk-in customers, additional study will be done on wait times, the ability of existing intake staff to manage these duties and whether changes would limit the department’s current efforts to implement and maintain an online digital records system for the public.

 

Various Professional Consultants and Intern Programs (Community Development)

The Department of Community Development utilizes several professional consultants and intern programs to help meet the workload demands in various divisions. These efforts will be collectively analyzed to determine how any reductions or elimination will impact the department’s work plan and ability to maintain acceptable levels of service.

 

Administrative Reorganizations (Finance, Parks and Recreation, Voter Registration and Elections)  

Several departments have identified a potential to reorganize their respective administrative staffing over the course of the County’s Five-Year Financial Plan. Additional review will determine additional details including the feasibility and proper timing of a reorganization in order ensure compliance with state and federal mandates and to minimize the impacts to citizens.

 

Copy Center (General Services)

The Copy Center provides convenient copy and printing services to all County departments and assists the other functions of the Department of General Services. The potential cost, savings and service implications for contracting out services provided by the internal Copy Center will be examined.

 

Custodial Services (General Services)

This proposal will examine the impacts of rescheduling County custodial staff in order to reduce utility usage and costs. Furthermore, the potential benefits and costs of contracting these services will be reviewed.

 

Grounds Maintenance Services (General Services)

This program provides general grounds maintenance, stormwater structure inspections and repairs, set up and clean up for outdoor events, support for the Sheriff Department’s initiative of roadside clean-up with inmates and “on demand” work such as snow and ice control at County government facilities. The potential benefits and costs of contracting these services will be reviewed.

 

Athletics and Classes (Parks and Recreation)

Athletics and classes provided by Parks and Recreation will be reviewed to assess a given program or class’s historical participation, cost, availability of similar community opportunities and impact on participants, including any specific groups the class may serve, such as senior citizens.

 

Parks and Recreation Fees (Parks and Recreation)

The County will review the various fees it charges for Parks and Recreation programs, including fees for athletics and classes, community center and park shelter reservations. Consideration will be given to the impacts on program participation and costs to citizens. While fees for athletics and classes and usually determined administratively on a year-to-year basis, park entry and reservation fees and have not been revised since 2002 or earlier.

 

Summer Playground Program (Parks and Recreation)

The County will review this program with a focus on the utilization of summer playgrounds that are not operating in conjunction with the Summer School program (2 of 13 sites). Additional information is needed to determine the exact cost savings and the impacts on the students and families who would need to attend the next closest site.

 

Summer Swim Program (Parks and Recreation)

The County will review the operating hours and attendance of its three beaches, particularly during the first weeks of June while schools are still in session. Any action would reduce part-time labor hours and would be targeted for times when beaches are utilized lightly.

 

Project Management Services (Office of Facilities Development)

Capital project management will be examined to determine the viability of managing capital projects through contracted services. Additional information is needed to assess the impact on the County’s capital budget, including the ability to manage projects’ costs, scope and completion schedules.

 

Programmable Voting Machines (Voter Registration and Elections)

Presently, voting machines cannot be programmed by Voter Registration staff, though staff must be present when the machines are programmed. By purchasing machines that are programmable by Voter Registration staff, the ongoing operating cost for an independent contractor to complete the programming could be eliminated. This proposal is not appropriate for implementation until there is a need to purchase new machines and this cost would be considered alongside other expenses related to the machines.

 

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