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SALT LAKE CITY - Governor Gary R. Herbert today launched an exciting new initiative designed to bring increased efficiency and effectiveness to Utah government.

The Utah Advisory Commission to Optimize State Government will take a broad-based, independent look at current governmental processes and spending and make recommendations to the Governor.
"Sometimes you can be too close to the forest to see the trees," Governor Herbert said at a Thursday news conference. "Sometimes it takes a new fresh set of eyes to see if we can't find new ways - innovative, creative ways - of doing things."
The chairman of the Advisory Commission is former Utah Governor Norman H. Bangerter. He will be assisted by three vice-chairmen: Fraser Bullock, managing partner and co-founder of Sorenson Capital and Chief Executive Officer of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee; Charlie Johnson, business consultant, former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and former state budget officer; and Nolan Karras, prominent Utah business leader and a former Speaker of the House.

  • The larger commission includes people familiar to state government and the private sector have volunteered their expertise to serve on the Advisory Commission, including:
  • Community advocate Pamela Atkinson
  • Neal Berube, executive vice president of Associated Foods
  • Natalie Gochnour, Chief Operating Officer of the Salt Lake Chamber, former chief state economist, and deputy for policy and communication for a former governor
  • Prominent Utah businessman Ellis Ivory
  • Gayle McKeachnie, attorney, Former Utah Lt. Governor and lawmaker
  • Steve Starks, executive vice president for Larry H. Miller Group
  • Lynne Ward, director of the Utah Educational Savings Plan, former state budget director, deputy chief of staff for a former governor, and former deputy director of the state Division of Finance

 

Members of both the Utah House and Senate from both the Democratic and Republican parties will serve as ex-officio members of the Advisory Commission to ensure effective communication with the Utah Legislature.
The Advisory Commission is expected to provide Governor Herbert with its first set of recommendations in 10-12 weeks, while a more in-depth review will take up to 12 months.
"As I stated in my inaugural address last month: 'I believe what government we have ought to be well-run and efficient...As Governor, I will lead the charge for government efficiencies in all that we are tasked to do," Governor Herbert said. "This Advisory Commission is my first step toward fulfilling that promise to the citizens of Utah."
Members of the Advisory Commission will work closely with state agency leaders and managers in their analysis of state government. They are also interested in recommendations for change from state employees and members of the general public. Those with ideas about how to improve efficiency and effectiveness in Utah state government can send an email to optimize@utah.gov.

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