Miloscia disappointed with lack of answers on waste reduction, Lean management

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OLYMPIA… Today, in his first meeting as chair of the new Senate Accountability and Reform Committee, Sen. Mark Miloscia was disappointed with the lack of results presented by Results Washington, the governor’s office responsible for Lean and performance management. After 16 months of implementation, Results Washington had no comprehensive performance measurements or significant waste reduction to report.

“I hoped to get more answers on what I expected to be a more robust performance-management plan,” said Miloscia. “Instead, there was a glaring lack of information on which measures are being met and even how the measures are produced.”

Wendy Korthuis-Smith, director of Results Washington, presented the goals and activities of the office so far, explaining to committee members that it has “a long way to go.” She added, “This is just the beginning.”

Results produced by Results Washington were called into question after Gov. Jay Inslee issued a report in December showing only $5.9 million in budgeted savings and $27 million in unverified “avoided costs.” In the supplemental state operating budget adopted in 2014, the Legislature had requested $40 million in savings from Lean management. Inslee’s budget director has since stated it is “not really very realistic” to expect savings of more than “the 1s and 2s of millions.”

“This is not what the governor promised to deliver when he said he would bring a culture change to state government, nor is it what the Legislature required for reaching savings goals,” said Miloscia. “Not only are there minimal results, but there is no way to measure the results. I think it’s time for the Legislature to take the lead on this issue where the governor has not.”

Miloscia plans to introduce legislation to create standardized performance measures based on systems and guidelines already in practice in Washington and other governments. These would bring accountability to the efforts of Results Washington and provide transparency for the Inslee administration’s budgeting practices.