Secretaries to also review contract amendments and procurement in process
Boston – Fulfilling a commitment to begin the process of reducing the state’s budget deficit, Governor Charlie Baker today issued a hiring freeze effective immediately across state government. Governor Baker also announced a comprehensive review of all departments in the first 100 days of his administration to streamline state government, eliminate waste and increase efficiency. Additionally, the Baker-Polito administration directed cabinet members to initiate a review of all contract amendments since September first, 2014 as well as a review of all procurement processes currently underway.
“The current deficit requires significant spending reductions to ensure a balanced, and fair budget that protects taxpayers and maintains the future stability of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “Our current deficit proves that Massachusetts is facing a spending problem that must be remedied through smarter spending and a streamlined approach for state government.”
“These first efforts will begin to address the deficit, while moving our administration forward in identifying greater opportunities for future savings,” said Lt. Governor Polito.
Detailed in a memo addressed to cabinet secretaries, division directors and agency heads, the hiring freeze is set to control new hiring as one of the Baker-Polito administration’s first actions to address the current budgetary shortfall, by restricting new hires for unfilled positions.
The hiring freeze directs agencies to withdraw job postings for vacant positions, prohibits the hiring of new contract employees and limits paid internships and temporary staff. Agencies are advised to take steps towards restructuring their operations as needed to most efficiently accommodate adjustments from the hiring freeze.
As outlined in the memo, new hires will be permitted for certain safety personnel and direct care positions, such as law enforcement, nurses and social workers. Individuals returning from leave and positions that must be filled pursuant to court order are also exempt from the hiring freeze, as are appointments made by the Governor pursuant to statute and to effectuate the on-boarding of the new Administration (consistent with previous Administrations, all M-5’s and above must be approved before an employment offer is made).
Savings Estimate for FY15: $6.5 million
The Baker-Polito administration directed cabinet members to conduct agency reviews, program by program to examining their purpose, scope, budget, revenue sources, number of clients/customers served, and key services provided to determine opportunities for improvement. These reviews will help establish a baseline for performance.
Agency reviews are aimed to determine best practices currently at work within agencies, implications for other departments and potential cross-agency recommendations. Secretaries are also directed to collect revenue and expense data.
Contract Amendment And Procurement Reviews:
The Baker-Polito administration directed cabinet Secretaries to conduct reviews of all contract amendments made since September 1, 2014. Additionally secretaries will examine major procurement processes underway to determine if they are in the best interest of the Commonwealth.