TALLAHASSEE, March 19, 2014– Governor Rick Scott honored the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Florida Lottery with a “Governor’s Savings Award” for their innovative and proactive cost savings projects that collectively saved taxpayers more than $27 million. The “Governor’s Savings Award” honors those who answer the Governor’s call for increased efficiencies and cost savings in government operations.
Governor Scott said, “I am pleased to recognize DCF and the Florida Lottery’s achievements in efficiency and cost savings. I have directed all Florida’s state agencies to find taxpayer savings and streamline state government operations so we can better serve Florida families.”
The Department of Children and Families
The Department of Children and Families is the country’s first and only social services agency to implement an automated customer authentication solution. With nearly 97 percent of all public assistance benefit applications received electronically, DCF began using technology that helps curtail identity fraud by verifying the identities of public assistance applicants. During the pilot phase and first five months of statewide operation, this technology produced more than $11 million in cost avoidance savings (from benefits not paid to unqualified individuals), efficiency savings (from reduced staffing time to process an online application), improved integrity of the public benefits programs, and an expedited application process for Floridians in need.
“The Department of Children and Families’ Office of Public Benefits Integrity has done a tremendous job ensuring Florida is the nation’s leader in preventing fraud and making sure only those who truly need help receive it,” said Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo. “I applaud our team’s commitment to increasing efficiency and implementing groundbreaking technology which has been instrumental in significant cost savings to taxpayers.”
The Department of Lottery
The Department of the Lottery negotiated a contract extension with its scratch-off ticket vendor. The vendor is responsible for scratch-off ticket printing, warehousing, distribution, and call center activities. The Florida Lottery exercised two two-year contract renewals, and agreed on a 9.36 percent savings over the four-year life of the renewal period in the amount of more than $16 million. The savings include $1.9 million for the current fiscal year, 2013-14, and added value to the Florida Lottery; such as an additional $1 million per year in extra feature printing options and a 2.46 percent overall fee reduction.
“The Florida Lottery is committed to operating as efficiently and effectively as possible on behalf of all Floridians. We appreciate Governor Scott’s leadership in challenging state government to identify cost saving measures wherever possible that will benefit Florida’s families. The savings we were able to negotiate with our Scratch-Off ticket vendor will provide more than $16 million in total savings for the remainder of the contract,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell.
About the "Governor’s Savings Award"
The "Governor’s Savings Award" honors state employees and partnering private-sector companies that achieve cost savings and avoidances while increasing government effectiveness. The award has lauded 17 agencies and more than 86 private sector businesses for their efforts, which have resulted in more than $239 million in taxpayer savings.
As a lead agency in fostering statewide strategies for greater efficiencies, the Department of Management Services helps identify candidates for the Governor’s consideration. Recipients accept their awards during quarterly receptions at the Governor’s Mansion.