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Gov. Scott Walker’s ‘brown bag’ order a good move

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve been an employee somewhere. And if you’ve been an employee somewhere, it’s also likely you’ve seen your company waste money.

Talk to anyone about their job, and there’s a good chance they could cite specific ways in which their company could spend less money – if only someone were interested in listening.

Well, Gov. Scott Walker is interested in listening. And he’s requiring his cabinet secretaries to do the same. Walker on Friday issued an executive order requiring the heads of state agencies to “meet regularly with frontline workers to identify waste, fraud and abuse.”

“Those on the frontlines of state government have a wealth of information and ideas on how to make government better and more efficient,” Walker said in a statement. “I look forward to joining many of the discussions our cabinet secretaries will hold.”

Sometimes the most powerful solutions to problems are simple ones. And this solution – if executed – could save state taxpayers a lot of money.

In my 10 years as a journalist, I’ve seen my employers (excluding my current one, of course) waste thousands of dollars that could have been saved if management would have asked employees how the company could be more efficient. I’ve talked to a lot of people in a lot of professions who have said the same.

So, while this executive order isn’t going to solve Wisconsin’s budget problems, it is an excellent step toward identifying ways the state is misusing our money. I hope the governor will follow up not only on enforcing this policy, but also on making public some of the state employee suggestions that are enacted.

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4 comments

  1. Great, a naive young reporter who would appear to be drinking the Walker/Republican Kool-Aid. Are you not familiar with what a sham the whole Walker Brown Bag thing is? The Journal Sentinel exposed how the Walker for Governor campaign rang up a hefty tab eating at restaurants that were not exactly cheap. I am all for saving money and eliminating wasteful spending. But, I would cast a wary eye at anything that comes out of this administration.

  2. If Scott “Brown-Bag” Walker was really serious about all this, he’d forego luxuriating in his posh governor’s mansion with its half-dozen fulltime servants and gardeners in favor of living like the rest of the people who voted for him in a real house. Now there would be a message to the voters, one that would change the public perceptions of him – but we all know that’s not about to happen.

  3. One of the problems with governmental agencies is the tendency to make sure you spend all your allocated funds in a given fiscal year so that next years budget will not be cut. If that mentality can be corrected, there is hope.

  4. To “Get a clue”: I’m not drinking anything. I didn’t suggest this would rescue Wisconsin’s budget. But commissioning feedback from employees on what can be done to save money would be a good move for any organization. It’s just up to the top executive, in this case Walker, to follow up.

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