REPORT OF CONSOLIDATION OF SUPPORT SERVICES
PROVIDED TO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SEPTEMBER 1, 2000
The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is pleased to submit its report
detailing our assessment of the administrative support services to be consolidated in
health and human services agencies during State Fiscal Year 2001. Our proposed plan
and schedule for the consolidations is included in the report.
House Bill 2641 gave HHSC responsibility to plan and implement an efficient and
effective system of administrative support services for health and human services
agencies. The Commission’s approach to fulfilling this requirement focuses on
improvements in administrative support services that will lead to lower unit costs for
goods and services and greater efficiency. Our long-term goal is to review and redesign
all HHSC business processes and procedures to produce:
Increased operational efficiency;
Cost-savings for an individual agency’s budget or collective savings for all HHSC
agencies as a whole;
Increased cost savings for state government as a whole;
Enhanced client services as a result of refocusing administrative staff efforts;
Qualitative performance measures to assess and monitor all “reengineered” process
results throughout the implementation phase.
INCREASED OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY
Society’s demographic changes, the many new capabilities of automation, and the
constant demand from taxpayers for government to provide better services are some of
the major driving forces that require agencies to constantly reexamine themselves for
ways to improve. The fourteen health and human services agencies have developed
administrative systems necessary to support their business. While these processes served
the agencies well, today’s workplace requires creative approaches that ensure that the
State obtains the best services at the best price. HHSC is committed to creating a new
way of doing business and new and better ways to account for expenditures.
HHSC will work closely with the health and human services agencies and with other
agencies such as the Comptroller of Public Accounts and the General Services
Commission to examine our current business processes and to identify best practices in
both the public and private sectors. Our eventual goal is the consolidation of all business
processes into a single, efficient business operation for the agencies. HHSC began by
identifying several functions and tasks within those processes that we believe can be
effectively consolidated over the next year. Examples of these functions and tasks
• Human Resources – consolidating job postings and applications to enable
prospective employees to apply for all health and human services vacancies with a
• Purchasing – consolidating contracts for goods and services used by multiple
• Information Resources – combining all agency electronic mail systems into a
single mail server for all of health and human services to improve
communications among the agencies.
• Co-Location – sharing office buildings and building support services.
• Training – creating or purchasing computer-based training that can be used by all
• Internal Audit – developing a consolidated audit plan for the agencies and
creating uniform training for all agency auditors.
• Records Management – contracting for regional storage facilities to eliminate the
need to transport records throughout the state.
• Video Conferencing – expanding the availability of video conferencing as an
alternative to face-to-face meetings.
Consolidation of these and other tasks outlined in the report are expected to lead to
greater efficiencies and improved services. For example, in State Fiscal Year 1999, the
five largest HHSC agencies spent over $4.7 million to purchase cleaning services for
building locations throughout the state. Each agency released a request for offer,
evaluated responses and selected a contractor, set budgets and tracked expenditures,
established performance measures and monitored the contractors for compliance with the
contracts terms and conditions. By combining these service contracts, we can eliminate
duplicative administrative costs and leverage our buying power to obtain the best cost for
ENTERPRISE ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM
A major challenge in developing a comprehensive administrative system within the HHS
enterprise is the lack of compatibility among the various automation systems. Currently,
each agency maintains its own system that is unique to the particular agency. As part of
our plan to consolidate agency administrative services, HHSC purchased a statewide
license for PeopleSoft, an enterprise administrative automation system.
The agencies are responsible for the delivery of a vast array of services to customers
throughout the state. The challenge for HHSC is to create new ways in which the monies
appropriated by the Legislature can be used to provide more and better quality services in
a more efficient manner. To accomplish this goal, HHSC will work with the agencies to
analyze existing administrative processes and develop best practices to be used by all of
the agencies. A single administrative system will enable HHSC to leverage funding to
gain greater economies of scale.
HHSC is enthusiastic about this opportunity to create a lean, efficient business structure
for health and human services. The report contains several proposals developed in
cooperation with the health and human services agencies that offer meaningful
improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of current processes and that will
produce substantial savings. As a complement to our business process improvements,
HHSC has purchased a statewide license for a single administrative management system
that will help to ensure that, as new business processes are created, these processes can be
implemented throughout the enterprise.
Since its inception in 1991 with the passage of HB 7 by the 72nd Texas Legislature, the
Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has been charged with the
responsibility to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in the state’s
health and human services agencies. Since 1991, the importance of improving the
effectiveness and efficiency of HHS agencies operations and service delivery has been
underscored in reports from the Texas Performance Review (TPR), State Auditor’s
Office (SAO), and the Sunset Commission. To facilitate implementation of
recommendations contained in these reports and to address related issues, the 76th Texas
Legislature enacted HB 2641 which assigned numerous powers, duties and
responsibilities to HHSC and redefined its relationship with the individual health and
human services agencies.
Generally, HB 2641 expanded the HHSC’s operational control over HHS programs.
Specifically, this expansion included areas such as management of federal funds;
strengthened oversight of purchasing and contracting; greater responsibility for strategic
planning and oversight of all HHS agencies’ information resources projects; and greater
emphasis on improvements in the regional management of HHS agencies.
One of the specific charges given to HHSC by HB 2641 is contained in Section 3.16,
which states: “ (a) The Health and Human Services Commission shall: (1) assess the
benefits of consolidating support services provided to health and human services agencies
in agency headquarters and in regional offices; and (2) develop a plan and schedule for
collocating offices and consolidating support services in accordance with Section
531.0246, Government Code, as added by this article. (b) Not later than September 1,
2000, the Health and Human Services Commission shall report the results of the
assessment, together with the proposed plan and schedule, to the governor, the lieutenant
governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the committees of the house of
representatives and senate identified under Section 531.171, Government Code, as added
by this Act.”
To address this charge and other responsibilities outlined in HB 2641, the Commissioner
of HHSC requested that each agency CEO appoint staff to join HHSC staff and form
workgroups for several focus areas, one of which was “Interagency Economy and
Efficiency”. The Interagency Economy and Efficiency Workgroup was convened during
July and August 1999 to address four specific charges:
Identify statutory requirements for HHSC;
Review reports and audits (TPR/Sunset/SAO) that support the need for the HHSC
authority in the given area;
Determine the resources needed for HHSC to discharge its responsibilities; and
Determine the optimal organizational structure and process to address the
The Interagency Economy and Efficiency Workgroup recommended the creation of a
Business Improvements Unit within HHSC that would identify, plan and implement
opportunities for business improvements among the HHS agencies. The Workgroup
further recommended that the Business Improvements Unit utilize the existing Health and
Human Services Steering Committee to assist in identifying such opportunities. The HHS
Steering Committee is composed of deputy level, senior administrative staff appointed by
agency CEOs, with authority to represent their agencies and make key decisions related
to business improvement opportunities.
In response to the Workgroup’s recommendations, the HHSC Commissioner created and
staffed the Business Process Improvements unit in April 2000. Business Process
Improvement (BPI) staff immediately began developing a plan to meet the requirements
of HB 2641.
ASSESSMENT OF BENEFITS OF CONSOLIDATING SUPPORT SERVICES IN
AGENCY HEADQUARTERS OFFICES
Although HB 2641 gives HHSC the authority to direct HHS agencies to collocate
employees and programs in the same buildings and to consolidate agency support
services, Business Process Improvements staff decided that those consolidation initiatives
with the greatest chance for success would be those developed by the agencies
themselves. BPI staff decided to task the HHS agencies, through their representatives on
the HHS Steering Committee, with the responsibility to develop and recommend the first
set of consolidation initiatives.
The basis for the decision is: (1) this approach fosters greater ownership by Steering
Committee member agencies in the proposed initiatives, (2) agency staff with the most
relevant expertise will be utilized in the development of proposals, and (3) the initial
proposals will be a collaborative effort among all the HHS agencies, since all agencies
are currently represented on the HHS Steering Committee.
Concurrently, BPI staff independently researched and studied ideas that might foster
future consolidation proposals. Specifically, feedback on such ideas was obtained from
both Sunset Advisory Commission staff and Comptroller’s Competitive Strategies staff.
Business Process Improvements staff attended the May 2000 meeting of the HHS
Steering Committee to outline their charge under HB 2641 and to solicit the Committee’s
assistance in meeting that charge. BPI staff also attended the June 2000 meetings of the
eight workgroups that report to the Steering Committee. These workgroups include
Information Resource Management, Human Resources, Internal Audit, Collocation,
Purchasing Management, Training, Video Conferencing, and Records Management.
Each workgroup is composed of staff experts from all HHS agencies, usually managers,
who work in each particular support service.
At the workgroup meetings, BPI staff requested that each workgroup chair task their
members with identifying functions within each support service that might be performed
more efficiently if they were consolidated among the HHS agencies. The most viable of
these candidate functions for consolidation would be implemented during fiscal years
2001-2002 and then evaluated for 12 months to determine if they do indeed produce the
efficiencies predicted. Additionally, workgroups chairs were asked to identify best
practices, or business process improvements, that would produce economies and
efficiencies when implemented among the HHS agencies during fiscal year 2001.
Workgroup chairs were asked to present their workgroup’s recommendations for
consolidations and business process improvements to the full HHS Steering Committee at
its July 2000 meeting.
Recommendations presented at the July meeting were compiled by BPI staff and
distributed to committee members with instructions to solicit comments from agency
management. After providing ample opportunity for agency feedback, the Commissioner
of HHSC has approved the following consolidation and business improvement
recommendations for implementation among the HHS agencies.
RESULTS OF ASSESSMENT
Numerous support services functions were identified during the assessment process that
appear to be good target areas for consolidation, and which we predict will produce
efficiencies that will benefit all HHS agencies. Additionally, a number of best practices
were identified that we predict will improve business processes when implemented by the
HHS agencies. Barring the discovery of any unexpected compelling reasons for not
implementing these consolidations and business process improvements, HHS agencies
intend to collectively undertake the following projects during fiscal years 2001-2002.
Job Applications: All large HHS agencies currently maintain office space and employ
staff to perform various job application intake processes. We will create a centralized
applicant intake center to serve all HHS agencies that will be appropriately equipped and
staffed to be accessible for all applicants. The center will display recruitment materials
for all agencies and will make computers available for applicants to review all HHS job
openings. Applications will be accepted for all HHS job postings and forwarded to the
appropriate agency HR office (we will also explore the use of an electronic application
process). Additionally, each HHS agency’s job opportunity web site may provide links
to the other agencies’ sites. This consolidation will make all HHS agencies more
accessible to customers by providing a more customer-friendly “one-stop shopping”
approach for job applicants, and generate more job applications for job postings.
Employee Benefits: All large HHS agencies employ staff to provide benefits counseling,
enrollment services, and plan administration for employees. We will provide better
customer service to employees by consolidating employee benefits activities (e.g., group
insurance, deferred compensation) for HHS agencies including (1) consolidated summer
enrollment meetings for employees, (2) joint participation in the Employees Retirement
System (ERS) new hire benefits orientation, and (3) provision of benefits services to
employees of other HHS agencies that request such services. Whenever possible, these
services will be provided on-site within the HHS office complex. Attention will be given
to providing information in formats accessible to employees who are blind or visually
impaired. Additionally, we will make benefits information and enrollment forms more
accessible for employees by placing as much information as possible on the Internet.
This consolidation will allow employees to make better-informed decisions to help them
meet their individual and family benefits needs. The ERS has recently offered a greater
variety of investment instruments in which state employees can participate. Many of
these options pose a challenge for employees in making financial planning decisions.
HHS agencies’ participation in the ERS new hire benefits orientation program will give
them the opportunity to (1) get more detailed information from the entity responsible for
the program administration; (2) make better informed financial planning decisions at an
early stage of their state employment; and (3) offer HR staff the potential to become more
efficient and productive and ensure greater consistency and higher quality service in the
provision of benefits services for all HHS employees. This approach will allow
redirection of staff time spent by HR staff that currently have part-time responsibilities
for providing benefit services to employees.
Recruitment: Many state employees are nearing an age when they will be eligible for
retirement. Additionally, the healthy condition of the Texas economy has resulted in an
extremely tight labor market resulting in a shortage of workers in general, and a critical
shortage of workers with certain technical skills. Hence, it is imperative that HHS
agencies achieve maximum results from their recruitment efforts. Accordingly, we will
consolidate HHS recruitment activities such as HHS job fairs and joint participation in
recruiting events throughout the state where HHS recruiters represent all the HHS
Also, in recent years the legislature has imposed greater restrictions on agencies’ travel
expenditures. Through the consolidation of employee recruitment activities, HHS
agencies will gain greater cost savings and efficiencies by reducing recruiting costs such
as registration and exhibit booth costs, travel, and per diem.
MOUs and Interagency Contracts for HR-related Services: We will develop interagency
contracts such as the contract currently under development calling for the Texas
Rehabilitation Commission (TRC) to perform civil rights and risk management functions
for the Texas Department of Aging (TDoA). TDoA is also pursuing the possibility of
contracting with HHSC to provide accounting and information technology services for
their agency. HHSC currently contracts with TRC for the provision of human resource
services and automation support. Similar agreements between other HHS agencies have
been made in the past regarding provision of payroll, job audits and other services and the
workgroup will explore additional ways in which HHS agencies can provide services for
This approach will create an avenue for agencies to provide human resource services to
other agencies that do not have the expertise in-house to perform necessary human
resources functions. It will eliminate the necessity for additional FTEs or the redirection
of staff time in those agencies while providing more efficient and effective service to
HR Policies and Procedures: We will identify and prioritize those HR policies and
procedures in which greater consistency would most benefit HHS agencies. Our goal
will be to complete one initiative per quarter during FY 2001. Areas that will be
considered include (1) parity in similar jobs, (2) standards of conduct, (3) wellness
programs, and (4) sick leave pool administration.
Pool of Trained Mediators and Sign Language Interpreters/Translators: Currently, many
small HHS agencies have no trained mediators or interpreters/translators, and there may
be situations where it is appropriate for large agencies with such staff to utilize the
services of staff from another agency. We will create and maintain a pool of trained
mediators and interpreters/translators employed in HHS agencies, along with the
requirements and procedures for utilizing the pool.
Purchasing Functions: We will consolidate purchasing functions in collocated offices
wherever practicable, thereby reducing the number of FTEs required to support the
purchasing function in collocated offices and increasing the number of FTEs available for
redeployment to other activities.
Single Purchasing Point for Food Items: We will create a single consolidated purchasing
point to support agencies that provide food to clients in state-operated facilities, and
dedicate a group of purchasers to perform this specialized purchasing through the use of
MOUs and ITV payments. Agencies will retain the authority to purchase food items for
special dietary needs or in emergency situations. This effort will help develop stronger
purchasing skills and more knowledge of commodities within participating agencies.
HUB Forums: We will consolidate agency efforts to design, participate in and host HUB
forums as required by SB 178. This will improve HUB participation for all agencies,
create more effective subcontracting programs, and increase HUB certifications.
Commodity Codes: We will use the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing
(NIGP) commodity codes for goods and services.
Expanded commodity codes: We will add commodity codes as necessary to further detail
services specific to HHS agency operations/needs, making it easier to develop "mail lists"
Standardized commodities: We will standardize certain commodities for all HHS
agencies and contract for those items for all agencies.
Procurement-Related Job Descriptions and Classifications: We will develop and
implement a standard set of job descriptions and job classifications for procurement –
related jobs in HHS agencies.
Contract Management: We will develop a contract database, accessible through the
Internet, to reduce duplication of effort and enhance bargaining, monitoring, and tracking
capabilities for HHS agencies and contractors. The database will provide basic
descriptive information as well as payment information (similar to the GSC term
Procurement Statistics: We will describe and require each agency to keep standard
statistics on their purchases/contracts for comparison purposes and to guide future
procurement decisions, e.g., cooperative purchasing, enrollment contracting. We will
pursue use of a standard information system and common database for maintaining such
Cooperative Purchasing Teams: We will form interagency purchasing teams to contract
for commodities for all HHS agencies.
Warehouse Operations: We will study opportunities to reduce duplication and to expand
services offered by several categories of warehouse operations.
Austin/Travis County operations
Standard Information Systems: We will designate one integrated software system for all
HHS agencies to use; allow agencies to easily use other’s contracts and transfer funds
between agencies; consolidate reporting; and reduce resources committed to maintaining
and upgrading information systems and networks.
Procurement Cards: We will implement procurement cards in every agency for small
Interagency Transfer/Payment Process: We will continue efforts with CPA to establish a
method to transfer funds between HHS agencies via a simple, easy, low-cost process to
facilitate shared/consolidated purchasing, warehousing and freight operations.
Catalog Contracting for Commodities: We will contract for all or major sections of a
supplier’s catalog to reduce the number of purchase orders and the amount of freight
required to purchase a market basket of goods.
Formal/Informal Purchasing Processes: We will use an informal process (facsimile,
telephone, catalog, quote sheet, etc.) versus a formal (IFB, RFO, RFP) process for low
dollar value purchases.
Enrollment Process for Commodity Vendors: We will use an enrollment of many (local)
vendors instead of a single award to a single vendor for a particular commodity, thereby
allowing for local choice of vendor, reduced transportation and increased competition
based on continuing quality of service.
Extension of Procurement Contracts to Public and Private Contractors: We will allow
contractors to use HHS agency purchasing contracts to increase purchase volumes and
allow contractors to purchase more materials and services at reduced costs (limited to
materials and services used to support services delivered under contract to HHS agency
Public/Private Partnerships: We will use open forums between HHS agencies and
suppliers to develop open, competitive standards for materials that reflect market
directions, emerging technologies and offer opportunities for future growth and
Purchasing Training: We will develop HHS-wide training and activities.
Develop training programs by topic, e.g., income generating contracts, client service
Develop state-of-the art training to ensure HHS contract staff share a standardized
knowledge base of basic contract policy, rules, regulations, and ethics common to all
Conduct annual joint contract conference of HHS agencies to provide standardized
training to agencies' staff, allow staff to share information and expertise, and
participate in joint problem solving.
Procurement and Contract Policy Handbook: We will develop and maintain a single
handbook available on-line through the Internet for all HHS agencies. Individual
agencies could then build upon the overall handbook to develop or adapt internal
handbooks consistent with state rules and regulations, and specific to individual agency
functions, goals and objectives.
Resource Group: We will establish HHS resource group to provide technical assistance
on contract-related issues and activities, such as finding and training objective qualified
individuals to score requests for proposals (RFPs).
Performance Measurement: We will develop methodology for ensuring objective
performance-based outcome measures for all HHS agencies.
Procurement processes: Vendor performance on best value factors.
Exchange Systems: We will consolidate email services for the HHS enterprise through
the sharing of certain public folders, scheduling (calendars), contact lists, tasks, and
distribution lists. This effort will promote collaboration between agencies, since end-
users can look-up and collaborate with any end-user in any HHS agency (e.g., schedule
events, share information to a large group between agencies via bulletin board postings).
We will achieve cost savings through economies of scale; leverage limited resources
(e.g., staff, hardware, and software); and maximize and leverage the use of limited state
and federal funds.
Enterprise Licenses, Cooperative Contracts and Standard Contract Language: We will
purchase enterprise licenses for standardized products. We will collaborate on purchases
of information technology hardware, software, telecommunications, etc. We will include
standard language in information technology contracts that will enable any HHS agency
to purchase under the same contractual language and conditions as the negotiating
agency. These efforts will increase productivity, reduce operating costs, and achieve
other improvements through collaborative efforts; avoid administrative costs through the
re-use of existing contracts; achieve cost savings through economies of scale by sharing
hardware and software licensing; and maximize and leverage the use of limited state and
Single Internet Portal: We will create one standardized internet portal for the HHSC
enterprise. We will utilize the existing HHS State of Texas web page to create one
HHSC organization internet portal, and standardize the style for HHSC web sites so they
present one face to the public.
Enterprise Approach to Implementing Administrative Applications: We will adopt an
enterprise approach to the implementation of PeopleSoft Financial and Human Resources
applications in the HHS agencies.
Electronic Grant Processing: We will actively participate with the Electronic Grants
Technical Assistance Workgroup to streamline the grants process for state agencies. One
of the group’s goals is to allow a single electronic window for grant application submittal
and to provide grant management processes for local governments and non-profit
organizations. A statewide E-grants initiative would reengineer and automate the grants
process into an integrated grants management system for the 26 or more state agencies
that currently distribute grants, decision-making systems, payment systems, application
submittal processes and management processes. A coordinated effort will reduce the
likelihood that multiple, separate, uncoordinated systems will be developed and
Centralized Service Contracts for Building Property Activities: We will develop and
utilize consolidated, centralized service contracts to provide building property activities
for regional offices. Initial contracts will be for janitorial and security services. We will
apply each service contract to a specified geographical area of the state and make all
contracts available for other regional HHS offices to purchase the particular services
needed for their buildings. Such service contracts will be applicable only for leased HHS
facilities in which the required building service is not included in the lease agreement.
We will involve regional office staff in the development of contract specifications. We
will develop and award contracts in accordance with HHSC procurement rules and
General Services Commission (GSC) purchasing guidelines. Currently, HHS agencies
purchase janitorial service contracts through a competitive bid or negotiated process.
This process is usually repeated for every instance in which a regional office needs to
purchase this service. Generally, agency staff must perform the following tasks:
development of performance specifications; solicitation of bids from vendors; posting of
bid solicitations on the Texas Market Place; award of the contract to a compliant vendor
and tracking of vendor performance.
Collectively, these activities involve a number of agency staff and a large number of
processing steps for each contract. This consolidation will reduce time-consuming and
repetitive procurement procedural requirements currently used to purchase services, and
produce significant potential processing efficiency and dollar savings.
Consolidated Purchases for Regional Office Supplies: We will implement a method for
consolidated purchasing of office supplies in all the HHS agencies that have regional
offices. The Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS) has implemented
an efficient model for the purchase and delivery of office supplies that reduces
warehousing, shipping and administrative processing costs. PRS contracts with a private
sector vendor to deliver specified office supplies directly to their regional field offices.
The contract was awarded on a competitively selected basis for a specified term of years.
The PRS model eliminates the need to operate a central/regional warehousing/distribution
center or to transact a significant number of purchasing orders from a multitude of
individual contracts. Procurements via multiple contracts obviously result in an equal or
greater number of deliveries, receipts and payments. Both of the aforementioned
concepts require significant staff and financial resources to maintain.
The PRS model requires less administrative resources to order and receive the products,
as orders for multiple products and locations are aggregated into one purchase order. The
number of receipts is minimized, as the vendor is required to make consolidated
deliveries to each office location. Although the PRS model is only being used to procure
a specific set of office supply items on a scheduled basis, the concept could be expanded
to process routine requisitions for items that are normally “spot purchased” or procured
from a variety of statewide contracts.
We will implement the PRS model, or a similar equivalent model, by establishing a
contract(s) that offers a broad base of supplies and equipment for agencies’ use, and
develop an Internet or Intranet application to access the contracts/catalogues. The
application will have a “shopping cart”; receiving capabilities and those functions will be
interfaced into the agencies’ purchasing/financial systems.
Lease Compliance: We will bring into compliance more leases that are currently not in
compliance with state accessibility laws due to technical deviations.
Centralized Compliance Data Bank: We will implement central data entry and data
sharing. Currently, much of the accessibility compliance information needed by the
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to ensure buildings compliance
is available only at the user agency site location and is not cross-shared with TDLR.
Much of the compliance data compiled by TDLR is not available to the user agency or
GSC on timely basis. Consequently, an extended time delay is experienced before all
relevant parties are made aware of an accessibility compliance problem. By having the
relevant parties (user agency, GSC, and TDLR) develop a system from which compliance
data can be cross-shared in an ongoing, automated basis, the compliance process can be
administered in a more efficient and effective manner.
TAS Training: We will train additional agency staff through the Texas Department of
Licensing and Regulation to increase the number of compliance trainers to more than the
current 12. The TDLR has a very limited amount of staff resources available for
compliance inspections of HHS facilities throughout the state. Having user state
agencies’ staff trained and certified by TDLR to perform these functions would produce
many benefits, including: involving those agency staff in the process who are most
familiar with the deficiencies; identifying relevant deficiencies on a more timely basis;
reducing the cost of inspections; and increasing the potential to conduct compliance
inspections at more sites.
Computer Based Training (CBT) Design: Currently, designers are hired and trained by
each HHS agency to design computer-based training. Various kinds of software for this
purpose are purchased and learned by the agency designers. When faced with a design
problem, there is rarely anyone else with whom the designer can discuss solutions. We
will consolidate resources and develop a pool of designers to meet HHS agencies’ CBT
training needs, thereby reducing staff costs by avoiding separate participation by HHS
agencies in redundant computer based training design activities. Some trainers will be
competent in designing training that is accessible to all HHS agencies and staff, including
persons who are blind.
Single Contract for Management and Professional Development Training: We will utilize
a single statewide contract for management and professional development training that is
routinely delivered by all HHS agencies such as general management skills, people skills,
and training provided in response to results of the Survey of Organizational Excellence.
We will negotiate commercial trainer certification and training contracts that can be
utilized by all HHS agencies. This approach will allow us to offer high quality training
programs at lower rates than public seminars or individually contracted training and
negotiate volume discount prices for trainer certification costs and training materials. We
will reduce duplicative travel costs for trainers traveling from headquarters to regional
sites by having one certified trainer provide training to multiple agencies with offices in
the same city.
Centralized Development and Delivery of Mandated Training: All HHS agencies are
required to deliver necessary and/or mandated training to their employees. Each agency
expends resources to develop and deliver many of the same types of training to its
respective employees. It would be more efficient for a centralized department to develop
or deliver this type of training. We will create a centralized training unit and pool our
staff resources to deliver such training as Civil Rights, Ethics, Hazardous Materials,
Contract Writing, Customer Service, and Telephone and Receptionist Skills training.
Included in the pool will be trainers with experience in working with individuals who are
blind, and who can provide accessible training materials. We will provide common
training centers to maximize the use of space throughout the HHS agencies.
Training Materials: We will use common purchasing for selected training materials (e.g.
videos, CBT, CD-ROMs) that can be used by multiple agencies. Common training
materials might include Microsoft Office products, management training, and
professional development products.
HHS-Wide Intranet: We will create an HHS intranet that can be used to publicize
computer training labs, video development resources such as studios, common regional
training and videoconferencing sites, sharable training classes, and HHS trainers certified
or licensed to conduct commercial training packages. This Intranet site could also be
used for on-line manuals such as the T&D Best Practices Manual.
Audit Training: We will develop a consolidated audit training plan, including a
compilation and assessment of both common and special knowledge and expertise
needed by any or all of the HHS agencies’ Internal Audit staff. The compilation and
assessment of special needs will include an overview of the nature of unique social
service program characteristics, operating environments, goals and objectives, and
compliance and reporting requirements.
This approach will eliminate any duplication that may exist in coordination of audit
training. It allows use of existing training resources, including the Institute of Internal
Auditors and the State Auditor’s Office, to meet common training needs. We will
continue to address special training needs through individual HHS agency efforts in
customization of curriculum, mentoring, and hands-on experience.
Professional Certification Policy: We will develop a consolidated professional
certification achievement policy, including a framework for encouraging and supporting
the pursuit of professional certifications by HHS agencies’ Internal Audit staff.
State Auditor’s Office (SAO) Coordination Guide: We will develop a guide to facilitate
efficient and effective coordination and communication between HHS agencies and the
State Auditor’s Office during agency audits. The guide will recommend the designation
of a single point of contact in each agency to interact with the SAO; describe agency and
SAO responsibilities during the conduct of an agency audit; and establish a
framework/guidelines for development of memorandums of understanding between
agencies and the SAO.
Risk Assessment Guide: We will identify and consolidate various risk assessment
methodologies currently in use among HHS agencies and develop a Guide for Risk
Assessment at HHS Agencies. The guide will provide a risk assessment methodology,
identify best practices used by HHS agencies, and develop consistent requirements for
agencies to use in conducting risk assessments.
Statewide Contract for Records Storage: We will coordinate with the General Services
Commission (GSC) to develop an Invitation for Bids (IFB) for a statewide records
storage contract that expands the concept to include not only HHS agencies, but all state
agencies. A statewide storage contract that includes all state agencies will benefit from
larger economies of scale than it would if it included only HHS agencies. The IFB
developed by GSC includes extensive information provided by the HHS Records
Management Workgroup and the resulting contract should become effective in FY2001.
Records Management Training: We will consolidate records management training
resources in a central location for use by all HHS agencies, including making records
management tapes and films available in agency audiovisual libraries so they can be
checked out by member agencies. This will reduce the need for each agency to acquire
their own records management training resources, while increasing the number of books,
videotapes, slide presentations, etc. that each agency will have at their disposal.
Standardized Records Management Software: We will acquire standardized records
management software and make it available for use by all HHS agencies. We will pool
agency resources to research and purchase or develop records management software,
thereby reducing the need for each agency to acquire their own. This will result in
greater consistency and standardization in agencies’ records management programs.
Records Management Policy/Procedure Manual: We will standardize records
management policies/procedures that are common throughout the HHS agencies.
Videoconferencing Equipment: We will assist in identifying endpoint equipment, site
design, network and infrastructure components and standards for interconnections of
network termination devices, both land-based and satellite, as required for HHS
Videoconferencing Standards: We will identify and recommend standards for typical
videoconferencing equipment user applications, user techniques, and care and security of
installed systems among HHS agencies.
Videoconferencing Directory: We will facilitate the cooperative use of resources by
maintaining a directory of videoconferencing sites, to include system types and contacts
for interagency collaborative use, and identifying the potential uses for this technology
that, if applied effectively, would produce a net gain to the HHS agencies.
PLAN AND SCHEDULE FOR COLOCATING OFFICES AND
CONSOLIDATING SUPPORT SERVICES IN AGENCY HEADQUARTERS
Business Process Improvement staff has developed a model survey process for analyzing
costs, benefits, and issues surrounding implementation of approved collocation
workgroup projects (attached). Beginning in September 2000, each Steering Committee
workgroup will be charged with developing and utilizing similar processes to evaluate the
efficiencies and economies gained from implementation of their workgroup’s
Steering Committee workgroups will have general responsibility for overseeing the
implementation of consolidation and business process improvement projects they have
recommended. Additionally, implementation teams comprised of agency experts in
support services functions being consolidated or improved will be appointed to monitor
detailed steps of the implementation. An implementation project team leader will be
appointed to ensure that Business Process Improvement staff is kept abreast of progress
on project goals and timetables, that mechanisms are developed to measure efficiencies
gained, and that baseline costs and savings are documented.
Implementation of consolidation and business process improvement projects will be
monitored throughout the fiscal year by BPI staff and via regular meetings of the HHS
Steering Committee. A report of Fiscal Year 2001 project results will be submitted to the
HHSC Commissioner no later than September 30, 2001.
ASSESSMENT OF BENEFITS OF CONSOLIDATING SUPPORT SERVICES IN
It was determined that agency headquarters offices should first establish the model for
consolidations that will be used in a subsequent phase for regional office consolidations.
This approach is supported by the suggestion that headquarters offices cannot reasonably
expect regional offices to implement proposals they have not adopted first as a gesture of
demonstrated commitment to the concept. Additionally, it would not be prudent to
implement proposals statewide without first testing their practicality in headquarters
locations. Regional staff will be included in headquarters consolidation projects
wherever possible, to provide guidance and a regional perspective. The impact of
consolidation efforts on HHS agencies’ lease contracts will be considered, since
proposals may involve long-term lease commitments.
Following implementation of support services consolidation and business process
improvement projects in headquarters offices during fiscal years 2001-2002, Business
Process Improvement staff will continue their interaction with the HHS Steering
Committee and its workgroups to develop additional candidate projects for support
services consolidations among regional offices during fiscal years 2003-2004. The
following methodology has tentatively been adopted to identify candidate projects for
Identify cities in which multiple HHS agencies maintain administrative offices
Determine which offices in those cities provide administrative support services (i.e.
consolidation possibilities) to agency employees
Determine the types of space utilized by those offices (i.e. collocation possibilities);
and eliminate local government space, free space, etc. from consideration
Evaluate lease expiration dates and other pertinent factors in those locations that have
consolidation/collocation possibilities and eliminate leases that are legally/logistically
Present a matrix of locations and services that represent regional collocation/
consolidation possibilities to Steering Committee and get concurrence to pursue
viable candidate projects
Obtain approval of HHSC Commissioner to initiate candidate projects
Replicate methodology previously used for implementing headquarters consolidation
projects to implement regional consolidation projects
RESULTS OF ASSESSMENT
To be determined
PLAN AND SCHEDULE FOR COLOCATING OFFICES AND
CONSOLIDATING SUPPORT SERVICES IN REGIONAL OFFICES
To be determined
CONTINUING PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
Support services functions identified in this report for consolidation and/or business
process improvements represent only the initial target areas among a larger group of
support services functions that will eventually be studied. Business Process Improvement
staff will continuously strive to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative
functions in the HHS agencies by identifying potential support services consolidations
and business process improvements, evaluating their feasibility, conducting cost-benefits
analyses and implementing those determined to be viable.
The Health and Human Services Commission is pleased to submit this report addressing
opportunities for consolidating administrative support services and improving business
processes among HHS agencies. Business Process Improvement staff is dedicated to the
continuing goal of producing optimum efficiencies and savings in the administrative
support services provided to HHS agencies while simultaneously improving the delivery
of those services.
For questions regarding information contained in this report, please contact Mary Beth
O’Hanlon, Associate Commissioner for Systems Operations, at (512) 424-6523.