Last year, an omnibus modernization bill (HB 1032), made accessing
state services more convenient for vendors and individuals, and could
lead to the saving of millions of dollars in taxpayer expenditures.
The bill seeks to recognize that savings have been incurred by those
state agencies who have modernized licensing and permitting processes
by offering them online. In this way, not only are countless hours and
dollars saved by the agencies who have modernized their operations,
but hours are saved by the applicants who are no longer compelled to
visit the local bureaucracy in order to receive service.
The economic downturn presented Oklahoma policy developers leaders
with the necessity of cutting costs and becoming more efficient by
adopting better practices for the incorporation of technology. Instead
of reducing the level of service, this type of modernization will make
accessing government services more convenient than ever before. As
legislators, we should view the reduction of government revenue as
being an opportunity for the government not only to become leaner but
also more user friendly.
These types of technology upgrades should have occurred years ago.
However, the lack of a need for cutting costs allowed inefficiency and
inconveniences to remain a part of the system for several years.
For instance, applicants for motor vehicle tag renewals were not able
to renew their licenses online for many years. Because of House Bill
1032, the Oklahoma Tax Commission is now preparing to offer online
renewals of drivers licenses. Not to be outdone and very much
concerned about a loss of revenue, Oklahoma tag agents are asking that
legislation be placed into law mandating that tag agent operations
also be made available online. This is just one example of where a
technological improvement that should have happened years ago is now
happening not only in state government but with the vendors who
provide the service through state government.
The principle of making government more responsive and accessible to
citizens should also be used in order to allow this same type of
convenience to state agencies. By viewing state agencies as customers
and allowing them to take advantage of shared services, it will be
easier for agencies to deal with budget reductions by offering them
more convenience and freeing them up to focus on their core missions.
The next round of modernization legislation should promote efficiency
and savings through the shared use of services between state agencies.
This will lead to the breaking down of bureaucratic barriers which
unnecessarily wastes so many taxpayer dollars each year. Next week, I
intend to write in more detail about some of the plans for enabling
State Representative Jason Murphey
Chairman Government Modernization Committee
State Capitol Building - Room #400B
2300 North Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
1(405) 557-7350 (Office)
1(405) 315-5064 (Cell)