News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: January 13, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces 10 Percent Permanent Cut in Department's Operating Budget
18-month effort shows ways to make state government work more efficiently
SACRAMENTO─Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today that he will permanently reduce the size of the Department of Insurance's discretionary budget by 10 percent.
"When I took office, CDI had a multi-million dollar structural imbalance and I was advised to raise insurance fees to address this problem," said Commissioner Poizner. "Instead, we undertook a detailed analysis of the Department's operational structure with the goal of right-sizing, streamlining operations and increasing efficiencies. This is common practice in the private sector and I believe it should be applied in government as well. The end result of our analysis was that we can reduce our operational spending by 10 percent without layoffs or reducing salaries."
Commissioner Poizner, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who received a master's degree in Business Administration from Stanford Business School, achieved the savings in three steps. First, CDI created a strategic plan to clearly define its priorities. This is the first time such a plan was done. Next, the Department performed a top-down review to better align CDI's resources with its priorities and to identify opportunities to streamline operations and increase efficiencies. Finally, the Department conducted a business process survey that discerned further efficiencies.
When these efforts were completed, the Commissioner concluded that reductions in overhead expenditures and vacant positions could be made to permanently reduce CDI's operating budget by 10 percent. Given this, the Commissioner directed the Executive Staff to implement this reduction.
"It is because of the amazing and professional staff at the Department of Insurance that we are able to do this," said Commissioner Poizner. "They understand the gravity of the state's fiscal situation and the need to run as efficiently as possible. I want to thank them for all of their hard work over the last 18 months to make this a reality and for their continued commitment to protecting the people of California."
The 10 percent budget reduction will amount to approximately $13 million annual permanent savings through operational efficiencies. The reduction will not impact funding for statutorily mandated or critical program costs including grants distributed by the Department to local law enforcement governments to fight insurance fraud.
"Regardless of the state's financial situation, I believe that every elected official should always be seeking ways to make government efficient," said Commissioner Poizner.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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