COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
Contact: Judy Hammond, Director of Public Affairs, (213) 974-1363
Brian Lew, Assistant Director, (213) 974-1652
Sept. 17, 2010
L.A. County Efficiency Initiative Nets $155 Million in Savings
More than $155 million in taxpayer money has been saved by County of Los Angeles employees since May 2009 under an aggressive initiative launched by County Chief Executive Officer William T Fujioka. The countywide efficiency initiative was implemented to expedite operations streamlining and cost savings to help address the serious fiscal challenges faced by the County and local governments throughout the United States, in what has been the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.
“The erosion of locally generated revenue has placed an enormous burden on cities and counties alike to find solutions that maintain critical service levels, while mitigating the need for huge reductions in workforce,” said Fujioka. Over the last three years, sales tax revenue to the County has decreased by $210 million; while during the last two years, property tax revenue has decreased $132 million. Compounding matters, unemployment remains over 12 percent, compared to just 4.8% in 2007. As a result, the County’s monthly average General Relief caseload has grown from 58,599 in 2007 to nearly 94,000 this year; a 60 percent increase in a four-year period.
Using the Internet as a communication tool, Fujioka has encouraged employees to share ideas and projects across departmental boundaries, to monitor the progress of all efficiency projects, and to track savings. Fujioka, in a report to the Board of Supervisors, said that since the initiative’s inception, more than 400 efficiency ideas have been submitted by individual County employees. According to Fujioka, “The County’s persistent focus on operating in the most efficient way possible has triggered a fresh perspective on how we operate.”
Some recent efficiency successes:
· $14 million – The Internal Services Department reduced its information technology and fleet maintenance budgets by $9.9 million, and disconnected more than 23,000 telephone lines with little to no outbound usage, for an annualized cost savings of $4 million.
· $3 million – The Department of Children and Family Services implemented a new, more efficient practice for generating hearing notices for parties in the Dependency Court. This efficiency will save the County $12 million annually when fully implemented.
· $150,000 – The Department of Public Social Services modified messenger pickup and delivery routes, and altered schedules to reduce the required number of deliveries, based on the geographical location of their offices.
· $500,000 – The Department of Mental Health implemented an accident-reporting and online referral system to streamline many manual, paper-based service requests.
· $1 million – The Auditor-Controller is utilizing online paystubs for an estimated $1 million in savings annually
· $448,000 – The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors has reduced printing and agenda production, and has initiated electronic filing of Board letters, among other efforts, for nearly $450,000 in annual cost savings
-- lacounty.gov –
(Fujioka’s report can be found online at: http://file.lacounty.gov/bc/q3_2010/cms1_151690.pdf)