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Government Operations

As state budgets are stretched, states are being asked to do more with less, and job pressures for public officials are increasing. While term limits were designed to increase accountability and diversity, the high turnover caused by term limits has, in some cases, led to loss of institutional memory.
Both government and citizens are demanding greater efficiency, and consumer-driven approaches to government are gaining popularity. As a result, states are looking for ways to restructure government and institute performance measures to increase efficiency. CSG is continually working to provide state officials with guidance for government operations.



  1. State Legislation
  2. State Programs
  3. Interstate Compacts
  4. CSG Publications




Emergency Management Assistance Compact
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) provides for mutual assistance between the states entering into the compact in managing any emergency or disaster that is declared by the governor of the affected state or states, whether arising from natural disaster, technological hazard, man-made disaster, civil emergency aspects of resources shortages, community disorders, insurgency or enemy attack. This compact shall also provide for mutual cooperation in emergency-related exercises, testing or other training activities using equipment and personnel simulating performance of any aspect of the giving and receiving of aid by party states or subdivisions of party states during emergencies, such actions occurring outside actual declared emergency periods. Mutual assistance in this compact may include the use of the states' National Guard forces, either in accordance with the National Guard Mutual Assistance Compact or by mutual agreement between states.
Member states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV
Interstate Insurance Receivership Compact
The purpose of the compact is to develop more uniform and coordinated approaches to dealing with insolvent insurance companies, and particularly multistate insurers. The compact establishes a commission to oversee and monitor insurer receiverships. The commissioners would be appointed by each member state. All states are eligible to join the compact. It becomes effective when two states enact it into law. It does not reference congressional consent.
Member states: IL, MI, NE
Visit the National Center for Interstate Compacts for more information!




Suggested State Legislation
  1. Establishing Ownership of Property Loaned to Museums (2006)
  2. Alert Before Disconnecting Emergency Phone Lines (2005)
  3. Indoor Pyrotechnics Safety Permit (2005)
  4. Procedures for Release by a State Agency of Statistical Information for Research Purposes (2005)
  5. Relating to the Protection of Certain Records in the Possession of Building Officials (2005)
  6. Good Samaritan Volunteer Firefighters' Assistance (2004)
  7. Preservation Interim Loan Program (2004)
  8. Prohibiting Dismissing Certain Emergency Workers (2004)
  9. Prohibiting Using State Funds and Facilities to Assist, Promote or Deter Union Organizing (2004)
  10. Temporary Replacement of Certain Elected Officials Called for Active Duty (2004)
  11. Unsolicited Proposals for Public-Private Initiatives (2004)




Innovations Awards
Winner - Illinois - 2005 - Shared Services Model
State legal services, internal audits, facilities management, fleet management, information technology and media relations functions have been consolidated into the Department of Central Management Services (CMS), centralizing and standardizing the states’ procurement process and saving Illinois hundreds of millions of dollars.
Winner - Iowa - 2004 - Charter Agencies
Under this program, six agency directors volunteer to sign agreements with the governor promising to meet specific performance goals. In exchange, the directors are granted greater flexibility and more authority to run their agencies in a manner that will achieve the performance goals, including making their own decisions about personnel, purchasing and technology.
Winner - New York - 2004 - Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS)
Serving as a central repository of information related to health emergencies, the system identifies human resources and hospital assets that can be directed to enhance responses. HERDS is linked to the state health department’s communications directory and notification system to provide backup and integration within the department’s overall emergency communications structure.
Winner - Washington - 2004 - Priorities of Government (POG)
This program establishes results-oriented priorities for state services to help develop the state budget based on what citizens expect from state government. Lawmakers propose results they believe citizens want from government, establish priorities and allocate funds accordingly in a strategic approach to state government budgeting.
Alternate - Virginia - 2005 - Council on Virginia’s Future
Developed to create a new policymaking framework for the 21st century, the program balances continuous improvement of the daily delivery of services to citizens with breakthrough thinking to effect long-term, positive quality-of-life changes.
Alternate - Florida - 2004 - State Emergency Operations Center Mapper
Within 15 to 30 minutes after impending and current disaster information is received in the emergency operations center, the data is available online statewide to emergency responders and the public.
Alternate - Washington - 2003 - Strategic Forecast Support System
This program integrates proven emergency management tools, such as Geographic Information Systems, the Federal Emergency Management Information System and satellite data, to identify and assess all hazards in the state.
Finalist - Massachusetts - 2005 - Shared Services Model Hiring Reform Program
This program sought to fix a redundant, expensive, prolonged and frustrating hiring process. By forming a partnership with state agencies, utilizing technology and assuming more of an oversight role, the Human Resources Division developed a set of new hiring guidelines that reduced the hiring time by 85 percent.
Finalist - Michigan - 2005 - Statewide Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition Initiative
This partnership among the governor's office, the Department of Human Services and communities throughout Michigan provides affordable, ethical access to tax preparation services to the working poor that yields a cost-effective method enabling eligible workers to increase household income by gaining federal and state tax refunds.
Finalist - California - 2004 - Rent Reduction Program
This proactive strategy to reduce the cost of leased state facilities includes such actions as terminating leases, reducing the amount of space under lease, consolidating leased space, backfilling excess space before adding new space, and negotiating rapid rent reductions with current lessors.
Finalist - Delaware - 2004 - Partner$ in Procurement
Using Internet auctions, leveraged procurement practices and sophisticated electronic tracking to save money on state purchases of goods and services, this program helps ensure the state is buying the products it needs while saving money.
Finalist - Iowa - 2004 - Construction Permitting Business Improvement Program
This program streamlines the process of issuing construction permits by eliminating unnecessary steps, adopting more user-friendly application forms, and implementing a hotline. These actions have reduced the average time for issuing a permit from 62 to 11 days.
Finalist - Iowa - 2004 - Iowa Excellence
Using techniques from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program to improve state agency performance, this program includes rigorous agency self-assessments and planning.
Finalist - Minnesota - 2004 - Negotiations Module
A central system that provides a range of work force information, contract costing tools and final contract settlement reports directly to management teams before, during and after contract negotiations with labor unions, this program allows for one-click work force information for use in reporting to customers.
Finalist - Missouri - 2004 - Department of Insurance Licensing Section Self-Directed Work Team Program
This program reorganized the Missouri Department of Insurance Licensing section from a traditional supervisor decision-making model into three teams of six or seven licensing technicians who work under a team leader.
Finalist - New York - 2004 - Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP)
This program provides special services to help low-income families transition from public assistance to the work force, serving working families with active cash assistance cases and those families that have transitioned off of cash assistance due to earnings.
Finalist - South Dakota - 2004 - Rapid City Skills Development Center
This center is a one-stop shop that helps welfare recipients prepare for, find and keep jobs. Staff provides basic skills training, intensive pre-employment training, individualized counseling on personal and work matters, life enhancement and marketable work skills, career planning and job search assistance.
Finalist - Florida - 2003 - Global Match
Through cooperation between the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, this program allows the use of “global match” in lieu of cash match for disaster recovery funds from FEMA. It provides a creative and effective way for greater leveraging of existing efforts by state and local governments in pursuit of disaster relief and related projects.
Finalist - Ohio - 2003 - Project Employee
This program creates a new category of appointed state employees which allows state agencies to hire union workers to fill short-term positions created through state and federal grants. The new designation avoids some of the more cumbersome aspects of the traditional hiring process, benefiting both state agencies and unions.
Finalist - Ohio - 2003 - Parks Subcontracting Process
This process is designed to determine when it is more economical and efficient to contract work out, and when it’s best to use existing staff. The process was developed through a collaborative agreement between labor and management in the Department of Natural Resources.
Finalist - Pennsylvania - 2003 - Center for Work Force Information and Analysis New Hire Data Mart
This program provides functional access to the center’s employment data to increase the effectiveness of new hire reporting in Pennsylvania. To accomplish this goal, several data sources are extracted, transformed and loaded into the center’s centralized data mart.
Finalist - South Dakota - 2003 - Electronic Vital Records and Screening System
This comprehensive Internet-accessible data system is designed to collect vital records, such as birth, death, marriage and divorce records, as well as newborn metabolic and hearing screening data. This system handles the business functions of the State Vital Records Office and local registrars, including issuance of certified copies, accounting, document tracking, modifications and preservation of records.
Finalist - Washington - 2003 - Barrier-Free Checklist for Leased Facilities
This program is used by state government to make leased facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. General Administration and tenant agencies use the checklist to assess accessibility when initially leasing space, renewing leases, evaluating accessibility in existing facilities and in planning barrier removal.
Finalist - Washington - 2003 - Utilization and Cost Containment Initiative
This program was designed to find inefficiencies and lower expenditures in the state’s Medicaid program, without reducing benefits or eligibility. This initiative saved the state $50 million between July 2001 and June 2003.
Finalist - Wisconsin - 2003 - I Owe You Campaign
This marketing campaign targets veterans, providing information about state and federal benefits available to them. The campaign’s slogan is “You served me when I called, now it is time for me to help you.”




  1. "Changing Times: Longtime ERC Director Reflects on His Tenure as Retirement Nears," State News, Aug. 2008.
  2. "Wi-Fi in the Great Outdoors: State Parks Fish for Visitors with Wi-Fi Access," State News, June/July 2008.
  3. "Interbranch Interaction: Interbranch Summit of the States," State News, June/July 2008.
  4. "Making their Mark: Women Still Gravitate to Health Care, Education, but their Numbers in Government have Leveled," State News, April 2008.
  5. "Seeking Solutions: Governors Address Key Issues in State of teh State Addresses," State News, March 2008.
  6. "Saving States' Historic Jewels: Resident Curatorship Programs Rehab State-Owned Historic Properties," State News, March, 2008.
  7. "Risky Business: State-backed Insurance of Last Resort on the Rise, but States Face Risks," State News, Jan. 2008.
  1. "2007 Innovations Awards," State News, Nov./Dec. 2007.
  2. "Home Work: States Open to Employees Telecommuting, But There are Obstacles," State News, March 2007.
  3. "Rebooting the Work Force," State News, March 2007.
  4. "Legislative Pay Daze," State News, Feb. 2007.
  5. "Plastic Payments: Some States Move to Debit Cards for Child Support," State News, Jan. 2007.
  1. “After the Storm Comes a Rainbow: Southern Governors Support New Orleans’ Rebirth,” State News, Sept. 2006.
  2. “Blogging Government: Web Journals Enhance Communication with Constituents,” State News, Sept. 2006.
  3. “Communication: The Key to Consensus,” State News, Sept. 2006.
  4. “Match Game: States, Army Work to Find Compatible Neighbors for Installations,” State News, Aug. 2006.
  5. “Legislative Learning Curve: Many Believe Term Limits Rob Legislatures of Expertise,” State News, Aug. 2006.
  6. “TABOR on the Table: Colorado Takes a Timeout from Strict Spending Limits, But Other States are Considering Them,” State News, June/July 2006.
  1. Trends in America: Navigating Turbulence to Success, Dec. 2005.
  2. “Trends in America: Charting the Course Ahead,” State News, Aug. 2005.
  1. Trends in America: Charting the Course Ahead, June 2005.
  2. “Governors’ Initiatives in 2005: Facing Up to the Problem?” Spectrum, Spring 2005.
  3. “Gubernatorial Succession: Managing Transition,” Spectrum, Spring 2005.
  4. “Civility or Civil War in Legislatures: Is There an In-between?” Spectrum, Spring 2005.
  5. “Turnpike in Transition: Public-Sector Motives and Private-Sector Methods,” Spectrum, Spring 2005.
  6. “Process Improvement in Business Permits Through Kaizen,” Spectrum, Spring 2005.
  7. “Beyond Bureaucracy with Charter Agencies,” Spectrum, Spring 2005.
  8. “Systems in Stress: Public Retirement Systems Are Challenged by Shrinking Assets and Growing Liabilities,” State News, April 2005.
  9. “Alabama’s Ace Investments: Out-of-the-Ordinary Investments Pay Off for Alabama’s Retirement System,” State News, April 2005.
  10. “Fixing the Problem: Illinois is Among the States Considering New Pension Reform Plans,” State News, April 2005.
  11. “Judging the Courts: States Consider Performance Standards for Courts,” State News, March 2005.
  12. “States Stride Forward: Solutions in Governors’ State of the State Messages Bridge Party Lines,” State News, March 2005.
  13. “State Worker Shortage Looms,” State News, Feb. 2005.
  14. “10 Change Drivers for the Future,” State News, Jan. 2005.
  15. “Mind Your Manners: Can Legislative Civility Survive Polarized Voters and Contentious Politics?” State News, Jan. 2005.
  1. America’s Public Retirement Systems: Stresses in the System, Southern Legislative Conference, Oct. 2004.
  2. “Gubernatorial Incapacity: A Review of Succession Provisions,” Spectrum, Fall 2004.
  3. “Major State Worker Shortage Coming,” Leaders Lens, Nov. 2004.
  4. “Life With Term Limits: Who Wins, Who Loses and Who Cares,” State News, Aug. 2004.
  5. “Heavy Lifting: The Job of the American Legislature,” State News, Aug. 2004.
  6. “State Technology Becomes Personal,” State News, Aug. 2004.
  7. Judicial Selection Methods in Southern States, Southern Legislative Conference, Feb. 2004.
  8. “State of the States,” State Government News, March 2004.
  9. “Budget Balancing Tactics,” State Government News, Feb. 2004.
  10. “Public Sector Goes Green,” State Government News, Feb. 2004.
  11. “Poor Performance: Losses in Pension Funds, Long-Term Trends Have States Looking at System,” State Government News, Feb. 2004.
  12. Right to Know vs. Need to Know: States Are Re-Examining Their Public-Records Laws in the Wake of Sept. 11,” State Government News, Jan. 2004.
  13. “What’s in the Cards for 2004?” State Government News, Jan. 2004.
  14. Special Report: Legislative Civility—Can It Survive Polarized Voters and Contentious Politics? CSG-WEST, Winter 2004.
  1. Homeland Security Brief: Right to Know vs. Need to Know, Dec. 2003.
  2. “Facing the Gender Gap: Amidst Successes, Women’s Gains in State Legislatures Have Slowed,” State Government News, Oct. 2003.
  3. “States and the ‘Stateless’ Technology: Use of Internet Telephone Calls on the Rise in State Governments,” State Government News, Oct. 2003.
  4. TrendsAlert: Judicial Democracy, Oct. 2003.
  5. “Privatization in State Government: Trends and Issues,” Spectrum, Fall 2003.
  6. “Government Restructuring: A Fiscal Fix?” State Government News, Aug. 2003.
  7. “Outsourcing Human Resources,” State Government News, June/July 2003.
  1. Special Report: Legislative Staff Managers Look at Workplace Issues, CSG-WEST, Spring 2003.
  2. “The Growing Role of Lieutenant Governor,” State Government News, May 2003.
  3. “States Have Options in Fiscal Crisis,” State Government News, May 2003.
  4. “Hard Times Generate New Ideas,” State Government News, May 2003.
  5. “Celebrating Unsung Heroes: States Prepare for State Employee Recognition Day,” State Government News, April 2003.
  6. “States Work to Ensure Right to Know Doesn’t Threaten Public Safety,” Stateline Midwest, March 2003.
  7. “Employee Health Coverage Crisis,” State Government News, Feb. 2003.
  1. Special Report: Western Lawmakers Meet the Media, CSG–WEST, Winter 2003.
  1. State Official’s Guide to Internet Privacy, 2002.
  2. TrendsAlert: State Employee Worker Shortage—The Impending Crisis, Oct. 2002.
  3. “States Face Worker Shortage Crisis,” State Government News, Oct. 2002.
  4. Less Money, More Service: NASTD Members Asked to Do More, Save More,” State Government News, Aug. 2002.
  5. “Term Limits,” State Government News, Aug. 2002.
  6. “Trends and Issues in 2002,” State Government News, June/July 2002.
  7. “Doing More With Less in State Government,” State Government News, May 2002.
  8. “’Net Balance: Online Privacy,” State Government News, May 2002.
  9. The Future of Identification,” State Government News, April 2002.
  10. “Dorm Sprinklers: Retrofitting Is In,” State Government News, Jan. 2002.
  11. “Term Limits Produce Changes,” State Government News, Jan. 2002.
  1. “Safety at the Capitol: States Seek Comfortable Balance between Security and Accessibility,” Stateline Midwest, Nov. 2001.
  2. “State Capitols Go On Alert,” State Government News, Oct. 2001.
  3. E-Government: Integrated Justice For All,” State Government News, Sept. 2001.
  4. “Taking the Long View,” State Government News, Aug. 2001.
  5. “Faith and Federal Dollars,” State Government News, June/July 2001.
  6. “Slow Action on Ballot Reforms,” State Government News, June/July 2001.
  7. “Court OKs Official English,” State Government News, June/July 2001.
  8. Megatrends Shape State Policies,” State Government News, June/July 2001.
  9. “Foresight Improves Government,” State Government News, May 2001.
  10. “Court Clears the Air: Clean Air, States’ Rights Top Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions,” State Government News, April 2001.
  11. “Which States Have Rainy Day Funds?” State Government News, April 2001.
  12. “Instant Messaging: Legislators Are Increasingly Using E-mail to Communicate With Constituents,” State Government News, Feb. 2001.
  1. Technical Difficulties: Hiring and Keeping IT Employees in State Government, 2000.
  2. Technology in State Legislatures: The Impact of Computer Use by Legislators on the Legislative Process, Dec. 2000.
  3. “Bigger is Better,” State Government News, Nov./Dec. 2000.
  4. State Employees’ Privacy Rights,” State Government News, Nov./Dec. 2000.
  5. “Legislators Enter Computer Age,” State Government News, Nov./Dec. 2000.
  6. “A Gap in Web Access,” State Government News, Oct. 2000.
  7. “Looking for Mr./Ms. Techie,” State Government News, Aug. 2000.
  8. “Investing in a Digital Economy,” State Government News, Aug. 2000.
  9. Forces Shaping States,” State Government News, June/July 2000.
  10. “Tennessee Pioneers ADR in Growth Planning,” State Government News, May 2000.
  11. Legislative Information Technology,” State Government News, May 2000.
  12. “States Plan for Work-Force Success,” State Government News, April 2000.
  13. “Got Conflict? States Can Rely More on Alternative Dispute Resolution,” State Government News, April 2000.
  14. E-government: The Next Revolution,” State Government News, April 2000.
  15. Legislative Reform,” State Government News, April 2000.
  16. “Increased Security Considered at State Capitols,” Stateline Midwest, March 2000.
  17. “Times of Change: Legislatures Deal With Term Limits,” State Government News, Feb. 2000.
  18. “Torts Pit Lawmakers vs. Courts,” State Government News, Feb. 2000.
  19. “Agenda 2000,” State Government News, Jan. 2000.
  20. “Planning Against Disaster,” State Government News, Jan. 2000.