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Oklahoma State Senate
President Pro Tempore
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5636

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For Immediate Release: January 13, 2009

Sen. Glenn Coffee
Sen. Glenn Coffee

Coffee Outlines State Government Reform Priorities
Office of Accountability, Information Office, Tag Agent reform,
Agency consolidation and performance audits top list

President Pro-Tempore Glenn Coffee announced Tuesday that government reform will be a top priority in the upcoming legislation session.

Coffee’s legislative priorities include creating the Office of Accountability, Innovation and Privatization, instituting a government Chief Information Office, tag agency reform, and agency consolidation.

The Office of Accountability and Innovation will conduct regular performance audits of agencies, recommend best practices to improve efficiencies in government, review the effectiveness of tax incentives, and bring new innovations to government to make it more effective for taxpayers. “It’s unfortunate the Governor vetoed this very worthy reform last year,” Coffee said. “This is an idea whose time has come. We will work with the governor to craft a bill that addresses his concerns while serving the needs of the taxpayers in overseeing government spending and make our government more efficient.”

Further, the President Pro Tem will offer legislation which will take out the long-standing tradition of patronage in the appointment of tag agents statewide.

“Traditionally, local state Senators directed the Oklahoma Tax Commission when filling these positions,” said Coffee. “We removed that patronage from the appointment of tag agents in Oklahoma City and Tulsa several years ago and placed it solely with the OTC, which has greatly improved the system. It is our intent to bring this level of professionalism to the appointment and management of tag agencies.”

One of the most significant reforms being proposed by Coffee is to develop a state government-wide Chief Information Officer, to bring consistency and efficiency to the technology needs of state agencies. Each agency currently manages its own information systems, resulting in redundancy and inconsistencies across state government.

“Consolidating all technology and computer responsibilities into one office will bring Oklahoma into the 21st Century, and save taxpayers millions of dollars,” Coffee said. “This will provide for ease in communicating data and information throughout agencies, and better serve all Oklahomans.”

Further, the Senate will explore selected agency consolidations, targeting duplicative services and streamlined operations, and will seek more management oversight and overhaul of the Chief Medical Examiner’s office.

Coffee is optimistic about advancing the above reforms through the legislative process. “As a whole, these reforms will prove to make Oklahoma’s state government more effective and efficient, while saving taxpayers’ money,” said Coffee.

For more information contact:
Senator Coffee's Office:  (405) 521-5636

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