The partial shutdown of the federal government recently provides all the more reason to appreciate government efficiency.
At the state level, Wednesday's announcement of this year's winners of the Governor's Award for Quality and Productivity provided a timely reminder of using innovation to deliver public services.
Award winners, according to the Office of Administration (OA), must "meet requirements related to effectiveness, responsiveness and efficiency that would serve as a model of excellence for other work teams in state government."
The three categories and winners are:
• Customer Service: The Statewide Customer Service Team for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) was honored for developing a new call routing process to respond to Missourians' and visitors' questions faster with less time on hold.
• Efficiency/Process Improvement: Another MoDOT group, the Route 5 Shared Four-Lane Highway Team, won in this category for designing an alternative between two- and four-lane roads called shared four-lane highways. OA said: "This unique design provides a cost-effective solution to improve traffic flow, increase safety and reduce driver frustration from slow moving vehicles."
• Innovation: The Potosi Correction Center Reintegration Unit, Missouri Department of Corrections, was honored in this category. The award recognized the group for creating a new procedure to evaluate inmates who commit crimes while incarcerated and designing programs to reintegrate them into the prison's general population.
OA noted this year marks the 25th year the award have been presented to recognize "continuous improvement, quality and productivity in Missouri state government."
We join in congratulating this year's recipients. These employee groups provide an example and incentive for how government can serve the public with greater convenience and efficiency.