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July 3, 2002

Ryan Unveils First Statewide Strategic Plan for State Government

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today unveiled the complete version of the first-ever long-range strategic plan for Illinois state government, a plan that already is helping agencies cut costs, improve coordination and enhance services for people throughout the state.

The document – Illinois Strategic Direction 2002 – has been developed agency-by-agency over the last three years by Ryan’s Office of Strategic Planning with the assistance of all major state departments, boards and commissions.

The multi-year process that developed the strategic plan is currently being used as a “best practice” by several scholars at various universities and other institutions that are helping businesses and other organizations develop long-range strategic plans.

“Illinois is a recognized national leader in strategic planning for better results,” Ryan said. “In three years we have developed a comprehensive strategic plan for state government’s future that reaches into every area of state government. Although new, our strategic plan already has resulted in cost savings, better management and an unprecedented level of coordination between agencies on polices and programs.”

Ryan noted that in the future, the reforms initiated in the last three years by strategic planning will help state officials further improve the management of the state budget and their oversight of the effectiveness of programs and services.

“Despite the fact that it has been a work-in-progress for three years, our efforts at strategic planning have helped this administration better manage taxpayer dollars,” Ryan said. “Over the last four fiscal years, overall state spending has increased by less than four percent – the lowest total spending increase in more than 30 years.

“But at the same time,” the governor added, “we have been able to greatly increase spending on priorities – education, health care for the poor, child care, job creation and environmental protection. That’s what a good strategic plan can do.”

During the 1998 campaign for governor, Ryan promised that he would reform state government by initiating government-wide strategic planning that would incorporate a “managing for results” philosophy into the operation of all agencies. Ryan also created a companion Office of Statewide Performance Review to scrutinize the actual results of agency work.

Both offices are being absorbed into the Bureau of the Budget to better integrate their on-going work with the job of managing state finances.

“We’ve fundamentally changed the bureaucracy and created a more integrated approach to government,” said Tom Herndon, director of the Office of Strategic Planning. “This strategic planning process puts us ahead of the curve.”

In Washington, D.C., the Bush Administration is using performance measurements in the federal budgeting process and has ordered all departments to initiate long-range strategic plans as a way of setting performance goals and making sure procedures are in place to meet those goals. Forty-eight other states are using strategic plans in order to better manage government.

Flowing from Illinois’ statewide strategic plan are separate strategic planning documents developed by all state agencies that break down into detail the goals and expected outcomes of all polices and programs. When goals and programs overlap, agency functions are integrated into a coordinated plan.

In Illinois Strategic Direction 2002, eight very broad “strategic issues” were developed for use by all state agencies as the central goals for state government:

  • An effective, accountable and responsive state government
  • A prosperous and growing economy that is technologically advanced
  • A community of services that enhance health and well being
  • A safe and secure society
  • A healthy, sustainable environment
  • Reliable, reasonably priced and environmentally responsible energy
  • A literate, educated and skilled society engaged in lifelong learning
  • A secure homeland

From these goals, the Office of Strategic planning and the agencies developed challenges, strategies, specific “strategic goals” and expected outcomes for all major state programs and polices. The challenges and expected outcomes will be continually monitored and used to set budget and program priorities for the future.

“This is a system that is continually a work-in-progress,” Ryan said. “It will always be changing and reinventing itself to help us stay current and to make sure that agency programs continue to fulfill the needs of the people.”

Examples of the cost savings, management improvements and better inter-agency coordination that has flowed from the Ryan Administration’s efforts at strategic planning include:

  • The on-going coordination of job training programs for several state agencies centered through the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. Twenty-two programs from six separate agencies have been combined at DCCA, yet all of the other agencies continue to play a large role in the job training process.
  • A Department of Central Management Services strategic goal calls for the Business Enterprise Program for Minorities, Females and Persons with Disabilities to develop a universal certification system. This system allows BEP vendors to complete one certification application to become eligible to bid on work, services and products from the state and City of Chicago. It is estimated that the annual cost savings for the state will be more than $38,000 and more than $2.9 million each year for vendors in time and effort.
  • The Illinois Lottery used strategic planning to focus an agency-wide effort on reversing a five-year trend of declining sales. The Lottery’s strategic plan included enhanced communication with retail agents, players and agency staff, the expansion of existing games and new methods of marketing “instant” games. The plan resulted in $1.59 billion in sales during Fiscal Year 2002, an increase of almost 10 percent from FY 2001.
  • As part of its goal to improve the operations of the agency through the use of technology, the Department of Revenue implemented the use of two-dimensional bar code technology for individual income tax filing. By scanning 2D bar codes on paper returns prepared with the use of tax software, data capture and information flow is improved and accelerated. Nearly 1.2 million 2D bar coded returns have been processed in 2002, saving the agency about $240,000 annually.
  • The Department of Transportation’s strategic plan focuses on improving services to taxpayers and motorists. It is expected that four major “process improvements” at the agency eventually will save $4.60 for every $1 invested in changing the way business is done, or about $1.5 million annually. The process changes affected the way IDOT managed grants to local transportation agencies, the issuance of oversize trucking permits, corresponding quickly and effectively with taxpayers and reporting vehicle crash data.
  • Another strategic goal for the Department of Revenue is to improve the collection of delinquent child support payments on behalf of the Department of Public Aid. Collections totaled $20.5 million in Fiscal Year 1999 and $34.1 million in Fiscal Year 2001. The agency’s collection rate of 55 percent exceeds the national average for collections of 25 percent.
  • The Department of Central Management Services has improved procurement procedures through the use of technology, including the use of the Internet for bid announcements and solicitation forms. These on-line services replace paper copies that had to be mailed back and forth with vendors. The Internet services also include “Notice of Award” documents that no longer have to be mailed. The annual expected savings to the agency because of these changes is more than $70,000.
  • The on-going coordination of tourism promotion efforts between DCCA, the Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Department of Transportation. Tourism is a $23 billion industry in Illinois that supports 670,000 jobs.
  • Agency strategic plans specifying coordination during natural or man-made disasters were put to the ultimate test on September 11th, 2001. The Illinois State Police, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Illinois National Guard, the Office of the State Fire Marshall and many other departments moved efficiently to secure people and vital resources throughout the state.
  • Strategic planning at various agencies, including the departments of Public Aid, Aging, Human Services and Revenue will allow the creation of Governor Ryan’s “cradle to rocking chair” health safety net, an initiative that includes the KidCare, Family Care and SeniorCare programs and could cover some 700,000 men, women and children.
  • Strategic plans developed by the departments of Central Management Services, Aging, Employment Security and Revenue have helped ease the creation of a system that allows Illinois companies and residents to use “electronic signatures” to transact business quickly and securely with state government. Illinois is a pioneer in government with the use of this technology.
  • The CMS strategic plan calls for increased energy efficiency within the agency through a multitude of means, including the use of energy-efficient mechanical systems and building materials to replace older fixtures and the use of energy management software. The use of an energy management plan has reduced utility costs at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago by more than $413,000 in a year. The CMS plan also calls for an increased use of video-conferencing to reduce business trips. In the last year, CMS videoconferencing services hosted 858 hours of meetings that otherwise would have required out-of-town travel.

The “Illinois Strategic Direction 2002” can be viewed at:


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