The Official Portal for the State of Georgia

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue

Becoming the Best-Managed State

Becoming the “Best-Managed” State

Governor Perdue’s goal is to put Georgia at the top of national rankings for the “Best-Managed States in America.” The high standards for best-managed states parallel the Perdue principles for governing a New Georgia: effectiveness, efficiency, accountability for results, and a customer-focused culture of public service. The Governor firmly believes that effective management is fundamental to good government and essential to achieving his greater goals for a healthier, safer, growing and more educated state.

The Commission for A New Georgia: Leading change

In mid-2003, the Governor established the Commission for A New Georgia (CNG) to partner with government in improving performance. CNG is designed as an independent, non-profit organization vested with the clout to break through bureaucracy and business-as-usual. Top-level Georgia business executives were appointed to lead the commission. Their mission is to evaluate the inner workings of critical state functions, then recommend innovative solutions and proven practices to improve operations.

Business-as-usual doesn’t just go away: there was red tape to untangle so processes could be streamlined; out-moded functions needed to be updated to 21st Century technologies and best-practices; data was fragmented and scattered in individual offices; key administrative positions didn’t exist – i.e., Georgia had no state accounting officer; more than 100 state agencies operated by their own standards within well-established silos.

CNG works on multiple fronts to spur rapid results. A short-term task force was created to analyze each management area under review. Chaired by respected executives, task forces enlist the expertise of accomplished citizens and pro bono consultants from the nation’s best firms. The teams work fast and for free, delivering recommendations in 90 to 120 days; all reports are posted on CNG’s public website ( So far, more than 350 citizens and 19 consulting firms have played a hands-on role in reshaping their government.

To date, 20 task forces have produced 84 actionable recommendations in areas such as asset management, administrative operations, financial accounting, leadership succession, and customer service. About 90 percent of these have been implemented or are in the pipeline.

In 2004, Governor Perdue established the Office of Implementation to spearhead CNG initiatives in government and account for results. Since then, well over 100 administrators from at least 60 agencies have worked on cross-agency teams to implement statewide improvements.

It’s about results, for example…

As of 2007, CNG initiatives have been credited for cost savings and revenue returns totaling over $153 million.   Examples: the fleet of state vehicles was downsized by almost 10 percent; surplus real estate was sold for over $22 million; leases were renegotiated to save almost $9 million; energy rates were adjusted, saving another $6 million. The state now auctions retired cars and equipment on the internet, increasing sales revenue by 30 percent.

CNG recommendations have resulted in many “firsts”: Georgia’s first State Accountant and first State Property Officer are on the job. The first complete inventories of cars, planes, buildings, lands, and leases have been compiled in management databases. The state’s first building construction manual has reformed contracting standards, last updated in 1954. The first Leadership Institute is developing next-level management prospects for succession planning.

Bringing customer service back to public service

Georgia is the first state to create an Office of Customer Service to work with all agencies that touch customers. Their goal for service is simple: “faster, friendlier, and easier.” Systematic process improvement is resulting in shorter lines, better call-handling, and faster turnaround at offices across the state. The new Driver Services centers exemplify the difference: renewing a license once took as long as two hours at some bureaus and on average an 18-minute wait in line. The new standard: customers are served within 4 minutes in person and even quicker on-line. State calls centers have cut customer time on-hold by 60 percent and handle 500,000 more contacts with the same employees at the same cost.

For more than four years, the Commission for A New Georgia has challenged bureaucratic ways of doing business and led the way to enterprise thinking and 21st Century practices and performance standards. The result is a concerted, statewide effort to restore confidence in state government as a competent and conscientious steward of the state’s resources and public servant for the citizens of Georgia.

To review a presentation made at the Governor's April 2008 Quarterly Agency Head Meeting on Georgia's progress toward becoming the best managed state in the nation,  click here.