CLEARWATER – The eight members of the Fiscal Team of the Administrative Office of the Courts for the Sixth Judicial Circuit were named as a team winner of a 2014 Prudential Financial-Davis Productivity Award, which recognizes state employees whose innovations significantly improves the delivery of state services and saves money for Florida’s taxpayers.
The annual statewide competition attracted 568 nominations for improvements worth an estimated $558 million in cost savings, cost avoidances and increased revenue for the state of Florida.
The local employees were one of just four court groups to be acknowledged around the state. They will be recognized at a regional awards ceremony June 13 in Tampa.
The team that earned the citation includes Budget Services Manager Rob Snyder, and fiscal assistants Tanja Fitzgerald, Mary Kris Lichtenberg, Inass Riyad and Justin Thom, all of whom work in Pinellas County courthouses; and Administrative Services Manager Stephanie LoBalbo, and fiscal assistants Chris Hover and Susan Vega, who work in courthouses in New Port Richey and Dade City.
They were cited for the implementation of four programs, including two for which the savings are measureable. The four projects are:
• Development of a “co-op” system of supply ordering where an employee must first ask other employees via email whether they have a needed supply item before ordering anything new. In five years, the Circuit’s office supply budget dropped from $114,954 to $100,729, or 12 percent – even while the individual items went through the normal price creep upward.
• Implementation of stringent cost recovery standards, such as requiring pre-payment of due process services in most cases, and by pursuing cost recovery when pre-payment cannot be made. In the past five years, almost $1.2 million has been recovered for due process services.
• Transferal of some contractual vendor rates from hourly with travel to a flat rate that includes travel time, and limiting the frequency with which supplies may be ordered to once per month, reduced the number of invoices that have to be processed, audited, and signed. In four years, total invoice count dropped almost 35 percent, from 5,729 to 3,781.
• In an effort to reduce offsite storage, printing costs and paper consumption, the Sixth Judicial Circuit’s fiscal and technology offices joined forces to initiate two projects: 1) the replacement of individual desktop printers with shared network printers and copiers, saving hardware and print cartridge costs; 2) a shift to electronic storage of documents, resulting in less paper being stored off site, thus cutting monthly storage fees and the need for onsite file cabinets.