Modernizing Government

Over the last five years County Executive Abele has worked hard to modernize government operations and make Milwaukee County a model government. Within Milwaukee County government there are several examples of how the County Executive’s leadership is leading to a leaner and better-functioning government.  Within the Department of Administrative Services:

  • Information technology procurement and maintenance have been centralized to standardize operations and improve vendor management
  • The county’s procurement process has also been centralized, including a new paperless, e-procurement system that enables County employees to purchase from preferred vendors at standardized and lower prices
  • Financial management policies have been strengthened so that large, unanticipated, one-time revenues could be directed to projects that enhanced efficiency, drove economic development, and built debt reserves
  • The number of worker compensation claims has been significantly reduced, including a 55 percent reduction from 2014 to 2015 (1st quarter of 2015 compared to the five-year historical 1st Quarter averages)
  • A Consolidated Facilities Planning (CFP) Initiative has been introduced for all County facilities.The CFP involves a comprehensive analysis to ensure the County is providing the highest quality facilities environment for citizens and employees.

Our Human Resources team has also made dramatic changes that have helped employees and benefitted taxpayers.  These changes include:

  • Implementing plan design and employee premium changes to better align Milwaukee County’s Health and Dental plans with market benchmarks and best practices, resulting in savings in excess of $35 million from 2011-2015.
  • Implementing pension plan design changes that have saved over $18 million
  • Transforming from a decentralized, transactional model to a fully centralized, strategic partnership model of human resources
  • Achieving a 50 percent reduction in time to fill open positions and implementing a professional recruitment and applicant tracking system
  • Building a Learning and Development function from the ground up, including the development and facilitation of several course offerings for employees and managers as well as launching a first-time Learning Management System at Milwaukee County
  • Building a Compensation function from the ground up, including establishing a market-based compensation structure and processes that ensure competitive, sound, and equitable pay practices.

County Executive Abele has also led other initiatives that have dramatically changed the structure of County government.  For example:

  • In 2013 County Executive Abele successfully lobbied the state legislature to create an independent Comptroller’s office
  • In 2013-14 the County Executive pushed for a number of changes to state law, including one change that created the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board. The new Board is made up of medical professionals and management experts, not politicians. The Mental Health Board replaces the County Board as the governing body on mental health care issues in Milwaukee County.
  • County Executive Abele proposed creating a new and consolidated Office of Emergency Management (OEM) within his 2015 Proposed Budget. OEM began its operations in January 2015.The new department was created to bring all emergency services into one combined structure to improve services and enhance collaboration with neighboring municipalities.
  • In 2014 Milwaukee County purchased new election machines for each municipality in the county. In return, each municipality will reimburse the county for 30 percent of the cost of the machines. The City of Milwaukee’s Election Commission will program the machines for the county and all 18 municipalities.The net result? Better-working and easier-to-maintain machines – and taxpayers save over $3 million over the next 12 years.

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