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Our Opinion: Efficiency in government, from government

September 21, 2021 at 4:05 a.m. | Updated September 21, 2021 at 10:32 a.m.

Efficiency in government is something you see politicians harp on, not to mention us in the media.

Of course, we all want our tax dollars to stretch as far as possible, so efficiency is important. But it sometimes, gives the impression our government workers are unappreciated slackers.

We know that's not true for the vast majority of our state workers. They work hard, often beyond the typical eight-hour days, and go the extra mile to meet demands from their supervisors.

So we're always glad when we can highlight some of the amazing things our public workers do. In this case, they've found ways to make government more efficient.

As we recently reported, last Friday, seven teams of state employees from various agencies competed in the Office of Administration's annual Show Me Challenge.

A Department of Public Safety team presented "Okay Google: Show Me Traffic Hazards" an idea to have Missouri Highway Patrol officers responding to traffic crashes report the incident on Google Maps.

Google Maps alerts drivers when there is an incident disrupting regular traffic flow and automatically reroutes. These notifications are dependent on drivers reporting the crash on the app.

To provide more accurate data to drivers and reduce the state's number of secondary crashes, the team suggested having the patrol's IT department report crashes and when they are cleared to Google Maps in real time as officers report back to the department.

We like the idea, along with some of the others presented. And best of all: The team found no cost associated with implementing it.

This is the fifth competition since the Show Me Challenge launched in 2019. In its first three cycles, more than 600 state employees from across the state pitched more than 100 proposals on a variety of topics.

We commend the current and past participants in the program for their innovative ideas to make government more efficient.

News Tribune

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