Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Jersey's DEP 'transforming' in a tight economy


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection today released a Transformation Plan,
the latest step in Commissioner Bob Martin's
ongoing efforts to make the department operate 
more efficiently in a slow economy under ever tightening budget restrictions.

"This document establishes the process to transform the DEP into a more streamlined organization that maximizes the abilities of our fiscal and human resources to protect New Jersey's environment and natural resources," Martin said in a press release.  "For the sake of both the environment and economy, we cannot continue to operate as we always have. We need to take bold steps to change how the DEP operates."

The plan seeks to eliminate non-critical functions, streamline business processes, leverage information technology and rely on the expertise of its constituents - both internal and external - to cut the costs of compliance while ensuring maximum protection. 

Specifically, the Transformation Plan:

*Calls on all assistant commissioners and managers to thoroughly analyze all organizational structures and business processes with the goal of achieving Governor Chris Christie's Executive Orders on reducing regulatory red tape and bringing common sense to decision making processes. This process may result in elimination of non-critical or redundant operations, with allocation of staff to areas where they could do more good.

*Requires that all managers and staff participate in customer service training programs to become more responsive, head off potential conflicts, and improve communications skills. The process calls on managers to develop sets of metrics to evaluate the services they provide and determine where change is needed.

*Establishes a process for the vetting of issues and development of solutions to problems specific to each of the DEP's program areas. Commissioner Martin is urging all employees to think boldly with regard to suggestions for changes, and to recognize that transformation is an evolution of ideas and processes, not a stagnant event.

*Calls for each of the program areas to work closely with stakeholders, prioritize and execute action items, develop potential information technology solutions, and prepare white papers that recommend additional changes to business practices.
     
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