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Is state program devoted to fighting inefficiency and redundancy redundant?

NC GearA friend of NC Policy Watch points out that a new and controversial $4 million McCrory administration program to fight inefficiency in state government may itself be an example of inefficiency and redundancy.

As WRAL reported earlier this week, the head of the NC Government Efficiency And Reform initiative (NC GEAR) — a former John Locke Foundation staffer — got a fairly skeptical reception at a joint legislative committee on Monday.  Senators and representatives both voiced concern that $4 million was a lot to spend on an ill-defined initiative that has thus far produced very little of substance.

Even, however, if one sets aside the output from NC GEAR thus far (i.e. not much), it’s also worth noting that North Carolina already has a similar program in place called NC Thinks.

Thus far, the main evident function on the NC GEAR website is a virtual suggestion box for improving government efficiency. But, as a our friend points out, NC Thinks already does that!

Here is the website description for that initiative:

NCThinks is North Carolina’s premier tool for rewarding state employees for providing innovative solutions to pressing organizational challenges. For over 30 years, the state of North Carolina has paid cash incentives to state employees whose money-saving suggestions are approved. Now more than ever, this is the best time to participate because everyone is a winner.

As you can see, NC Thinks provides incentives in the form of bonuses (and even time off) to state employees whose suggestions end up bearing real fruit. NC GEAR does no such thing.

The bottom line: Not only is NC GEAR redundant in some important ways; it also seems to lack one of the key incentives for success that NC Thinks includes. As such, it’s hard to see why any state employee with even a modicum of success would submit suggestions to NC GEAR and maybe get a pat on the back when he or she could go through NC Thinks and earn a reward.

Perhaps some smart employee can get a financial reward for pointing out the absurdity of this situation!

 

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