LANSING — Governor Jennifer M. Granholm this week expressed appreciation to the Pew Center on the States and “Governing” magazine for recognizing Michigan as an outstanding leader in the Government Performance Project (GPP) report entitled, “Grading the States 2008.”
Granholm is one of just two governors who participated in the “Grading the States 2008” national briefing in Washington, D.C., an invitation from the Pew Center that was based on Michigan’s ability to manage well during a crisis. Granholm discussed how a strategic, statewide perspective drives all aspects of agency action in the state’s executive branch even under the toughest of economic circumstances.
“Year-in, year-out we want to ensure that we are spending tax dollars efficiently and in a way that provides the service citizens need and depend upon,” Granholm said. “We appreciate the recognition from Pew and “Governing” magazine that even in tight budget times, we have made improvements in the way we operate state government.”
Michigan received the highest score of any Midwestern state and scored higher in three out of four categories judged by the nationwide report card in 2005. Michigan received high marks in the area of information, infrastructure, and people and fell only slightly in the money area, which evaluates states’ budgets. Only Utah, Virginia, and Washington scored higher than Michigan; all received an A-. In addition to the state of Michigan, only Delaware, Georgia, Missouri, and Texas received a B+.
“Michigan is a very good example of a state that has been well managed in the toughest of economic circumstances,” said Susan Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, of which the GPP is a part. “The governor has not, as she says, ‘wasted the opportunity of a crisis.’ Michigan has used a strategic, statewide plan to ensure that the state’s critical work for the public gets done – in spite of a battered manufacturing sector that has affected state revenue.”
Pew and “Governing” found that Michigan demonstrated an improvement in its strategic workforce planning, project monitoring, performance auditing and evaluation, and its online service and information. In fact, the report credits Michigan’s state website – www.michigan.gov – as a national model for the way it allows citizens and businesses to perform a variety of transactions that save the state money.
Granholm recently announced that the state plans to take online service to yet another level later this year when it unveils an online one-stop-shop along with a 24/7 call center to streamline the permitting process for new and existing businesses.
“The key to being able to continue to serve, and serve better — even in these challenging times — is through leveraging technology,” Granholm added.
The state’s challenged economy led to several weakened assessments: the budget process, contracting and purchasing, financial controls and reporting, and hiring.
The conclusions in the report are based on research released by the Pew Center on the States Government Performance Project, the nation’s only comprehensive, independent analysis of how well each state government is managed and actually performs. The report, the result of a year of research by a team of management experts and journalists, is designed to allow state leaders to identify their state’s strengths and weaknesses and to compare the performance of their state to others.
This is the fourth time the project has graded the states. The project is operated by The Pew Charitable Trusts and is a partnership with “Governing” magazine.