Governor Kicks Off Major Effort to Modernize State Government, Improve Efficiency

For Immediate Release
July 26, 2006
Contact: Communications Director
Office of the Governor

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today officially kicked off a major three-year effort to modernize state government operations and improve efficiency.

Gov. Lynch today addressed employees who will be working on the state's enterprise resource planning project, which will upgrade and unify the state's financial accounting, grants and project management, treasury, budgeting, procurement, human resources and payroll systems. Most of these computer systems are now separate and many are more than 20 years old.

"Today marks the beginning of a new era in the way the State of New Hampshire does business," Gov. Lynch said. "This new system holds the promise of helping us use taxpayer money more efficiently and stretching it even further."

When this project is completed, New Hampshire state government will have one software system for financial accounting, grants and project management, treasury, budgeting, procurement, human resources and payroll.

"Because one system will be tracking all of this data, state agencies will be better able to share information, we will reduce duplication, we will save on the costs of maintaining multiple systems, and policymakers will have access to better information," Gov. Lynch said.

For example, the new system will allow state government to move to a more efficient electronic purchasing system.

"Instead of state employees and vendors spending their time walking documents around to get them approved by the right people, we will able to process purchase orders and contracts electronically," Gov. Lynch said.

"Not only will that save time for state employees and for our vendors, it means our purchasing can be more efficient. We will be able to identify more easily where we should be buying in bulk, we will able to get more competitive bids from suppliers, and we will be able to reduce the inventory we have to keep on hand," Gov. Lynch said.

In 2002, when the state studied the feasibility of moving to an ERP system, it was spending $120 million on products annually. The study estimated ERP could save us $6 million a year just on procurement.

This system will also reduce the amount of time state government spends managing accounts. For example, the Department of Environmental Services pays its employees through a variety of sources - general funds, grants, federal funds. It spends hours allocating paychecks and other expenses to the right accounts. The new system will do this automatically.

The Department of Administrative Services estimates the state currently spends nearly 12,000 hours closing out the state's financial books each year. A new ERP system could cut that time in half.

"There are a multitude of ways that this system will help make state government work better and more efficiently," Gov. Lynch said. "Our current outdated computer systems force state employees to spend too much time entering and re-entering the same information in various places, filling out forms by hand, and walking documents around to get approval from the right people. This new system will change that, and allow us to focus on spending even more time and energy on directly serving the people of New Hampshire.

"By investing in bringing state government into the 21st century, we will be able to do an even better job of keeping an eye on the bottomline and investing more of our resources directly in to what matters to the people of New Hampshire," Gov. Lynch said.