The Idaho Department of Administration laid out some of the potential savings that could come from combining state jobs and services. The biggest price tag that could go down is on computer and information technology (IT) services. “Over the next several years, we could easily get $20 million out of that,” said Mike Gwartney, the director of administration. That annual savings will not show up in the next budget. Gwartney is proposing reducing four IT staff this year, which will save $229,000. He said he will look for consolidation in other areas going forward, saying, “We’re picking those off one at a time.”
Other savings identified come from centralizing the state’s vehicle fleet, which could save $4.5 million, and photocopying services, which could save $127,000. The department is also taking over Boise State University’s post office services, which should save $338,000. Gwartney said the state could also consolidate e-mail and telephone services, though he didn’t say how much savings the state would see. These savings from consolidation would only make up a portion of the budget reduction facing the state. The entire Idaho state general fund budget could see a decrease in the range of $100-300 million in the next fiscal year.
Only 15 percent of the Department of Administration’s $60 million budget comes from the state general fund. The majority of the department’s funding comes from the Permanent Building Fund, which goes to pay off bonds for state construction projects. About 20 percent of its budget comes from administrative and accounting services paid by other state agencies. The department is taking more than $200,000 in holdbacks in the current budget and faces a $400,000 reduction in the next budget. Like other state agencies, the department is using furloughs and a hiring freeze to meet their shrinking spending target, according to department chief financial officer Connie Smith.
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