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Modernizing State Government

Creation of the Agency of Digital Services

  • Created the Agency of Digital Services to unify all aspects of the state's IT operations under one roof, providing more efficient support for state employees, delivering better customer service, and enhancing accountability.
  • ADS streamlined existing processes and in its first year, already identified $2.19 million in statewide savings or cost avoidance. Additionally, ADS has improved procurement processes, increased project successes, enhanced communications, and better utilized statewide resources – all without increasing IT staffing.

Merging the Department of Liquor and the Lottery Department

  • In January 2017, the Governor issued an Executive Order creating the Department of Liquor and Lottery, a merger that was enacted via Act 1 of 2018 Special Session. By merging these two departments, the new unified department will align programmatic services, eliminate redundancies and leverage shared assets for strategic planning and growth to deliver better outcomes and service, and achieve cost savings and efficiencies for taxpayers.

Bolstering cybersecurity

  • Created, by Executive Order, the Cybersecurity Advisory Team to enhance the state’s preparedness and protection against cyber threats.
  • Proposed and passed the creation of the Vermont Security Operations Center (SOC), which will be developed and coordinated by the Agency of Digital Services to mitigate cybersecurity risks. This will be executed through a public-private partnership with Norwich University, which will help educate students, provide hands-on job experience with real threats and cutting-edge technology products and create job opportunities in Vermont.
  • To combat growing cybersecurity threats, the FY19 budget adjustment and FY20 budget include the Governor’s proposal of $2.3 million to strengthen the state’s firewall and upgrade critical IT infrastructure.

PIVOT and LEAN – Improving government service and efficiency

  • The Governor's Program to Improve Vermont Outcomes Together (PIVOT) has been implemented to improve operations and ensure state government is working more efficiently and effectively.
  • Through PIVOT, state employees are working closely with the state's Chief Performance Officer to identify and eliminate inefficiencies. This program was modeled after Toyota's successful LEAN program, a process designed to increase productivity by empowering employees to systematically reduce waste.
  • There are currently about 44 PIVOT projects underway, developed by state employees to conduct operations better and faster.
  • 541 state employees and 130 leaders/managers have been trained in some level of Lean or Results-Based Accountability (RBA).

Modernizing boards, commissions, studies and reports

  • Conducted a review of existing Executive Branch boards and commissions to identify opportunities to improve efficiency. Proposed and passed legislation to streamline reporting requirements, eliminate unnecessary reports, merge or phase out redundant boards and commissions; and create a committee to review the future status of boards and commissions.
  • Passed Act 61 of 2019, which eliminates and modernizes several state boards and commissions to operate state government more efficiently.

Modernizing and improving the permitting process

  • A team from the Division of Fire Safety streamlined construction permit applications, improving average turnaround time by 30%. The average turnaround time is 15 days with 94% of projects being permitted with 30 days – a significant improvement.
  • Proposed and passed a change to Act 250 permitting to allow sawmills under 3.5 million board feet to be processed as "minor" applications, making it easier for these businesses to responsibly operate. 
  • Proposed and passed a provision in Act 69 of 2017 to streamline the regulatory process for development of Priority Housing Projects (PHPs).
  • Introduced a series of initiatives to modernize and reform the regulatory process. This effort aimed to streamline the permitting process, reduce duplication and increase predictability, all while preserving important protections for natural resources. Specifically, the Governor’s proposal called for:
    • Creating an enhanced designation process that would remove Act 250 jurisdictions for state designated centers that demonstrate robust zoning and protections;
    • Strengthening the presumption of other state permits in order to mitigate the overlap between Act 250 and other environmental permitting programs;
    • Supporting rural industrial park development by simplifying the process and reducing fees;
    • Allowing more flexibility for our forest product businesses;
    • Removing on-farm accessory businesses that rely on agritourism and direct-to-consumer business from Act 250 jurisdiction;
    • Exempting federal-aid transportation projects (which already receive significant federal oversight) from Act 250 review; and
    • Modernizing and improving protections for unique natural resource areas, forest blocks, connecting habitats, flood hazard areas, and river corridors.