Say hello to the new Department of Government Operations

One of the goals of the Cox/Henderson administration is to streamline and modernize state government. As part of this effort, the administration is consolidating state agencies that provide services to similar customers in order to remove redundancies and improve the customer experience. 

Earlier this year, the legislature passed SB181, which consolidated the Departments of Administrative Services, Technology Services, and Human Resource Management into one new agency, the Department of Government Operations. This new department includes nine divisions – Archives and Records Services, Administrative Rules, Finance, Fleet Operations, Facilities Construction and Management, Human Resource Management, Purchasing and General Services, Risk Management, and Technology Services. On July 1, the consolidation became official.

These divisions all provide support services to other state agencies, enabling them to meet their stated mission. Combining these agencies into one department provides an opportunity to break down silos and find better and more efficient ways to deliver the services on which state agencies rely. 

For example, currently the onboarding process for a new state employee requires reaching out separately to Human Resource Management for paperwork and training, to Facilities Construction and Management for access to buildings, and to Technology Services for computers and system access. Under the new, unified structure, will we be able to provide each agency a single point of contact who can coordinate with the various Government Operations divisions behind the scenes to make sure new employees have what they need to start on day one.

As the executive director of this new department, I look forward to working within Government Operations to improve the services we provide. As we analyze our service offerings, we will implement strategies that align with our core values – Service, Employee Engagement, Accountability, and Trust. Our employees are already identifying new ways to collaborate on innovative solutions that modernize the delivery of government services and improve customer experiences. 

We are meeting with leaders from other agencies to hear their feedback so that our efforts are focused on their specific needs. In addition to the onboarding example provided above, we will be evaluating all the services we provide and structuring cross-divisional teams to look at the needs of each state agency holistically in order to offer solutions that are responsive, timely, and provided at the best value. 

Our desire is to be a trusted and valued resource for state employees, elected officials, and Utah citizens. We are committed to doing our part to help maintain Utah’s status as one of the best managed states in the nation. We have a lot to accomplish over the next few years and are ready to get to work.

Jenney Rees is the executive director of the Department of Government Operations and the former mayor of Cedar Hills