12/13/2018 3:52:40 PM
ST. PAUL – State employees were honored today at the Governor’s Better Government Awards, which recognize the best of the many innovations in state government each year. These initiatives improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government services for Minnesotans in three categories: Great Customer Service, Great Place to Work, and Great Results.
“Over the last eight years, we have worked hard to make state government work better for the people of Minnesota,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I thank the many dedicated state employees who have delivered better, faster, more efficient services. Their many achievements have helped the State of Minnesota earn our distinction as the #1 Best-Run State in the nation.”
Since 2010, the Governor's Better Government Awards celebrates state employee work accomplishments that have increased efficiency and effectiveness in state government services. This year, a total of 34 projects were nominated for an award by teams from 10 state agencies.
“The Better Government Awards highlight the outstanding work that state employees do to make real improvements in the lives of Minnesotans. These initiatives reflect the tremendous creativity and dedication of the state’s public servants and serve as an inspiration to our colleagues across the nation,” said Administration Commissioner Matt Massman.
Below are the winning 2018 Better Government projects, as well as a list of all the winners since 2010.
Improving Drug Evidence Analysis – Department of Public Safety (DPS), Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)
In response to the growing opioid crisis and rapidly increasing drug evidence submissions in 2015, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Service (BCA FSS) accelerated efforts to identify ways to reduce the time needed for processing and analysis. After the implementation of a technique called microcrystal testing, turnaround time for test results was reduced from 4-6 months to 2-weeks with approximately 6,000 fewer hearings. This is helping the BCA assist law enforcement to get criminals off the streets and those struggling with addiction into recovery. As of September 2018, the BCA FSS is the only forensic service in the nation to implement this expedited testing scheme approach to help tackle the opioid crisis on such a large, multijurisdictional scale.
Employee Recognition Program and Diversity Outreach – Metropolitan Council, Environmental Services
The Metropolitan Council’s Environmental Services Division’s (MCES) Employee Recognition Program and Diversity Outreach is a multifaceted strategy that works to expand recruitment, retention, and promotion efforts to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of our region, and a culture where employees are prepared welcomed and supported in their work. The program includes working with teachers to help build STEM curriculum, and being visible and vocal in the community by participating in job fairs, job shadowing and includes building relationships with community partners such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Twin West Chamber of Commerce. The MCES Employee Recognition Program now includes a peer recognition component and a Keystone Award recognizing the superior achievement of agency goals.
Environmental Impact Measurements Project – Department of Administration
The Minnesota Department of Administration’s Office of Enterprise Sustainability’s (OES) Environmental Impact Measurements Project accounts for the impacts on the environment by enterprise state government operations for the first time. By assembling 1.5 million pieces of information and never-before-used leased building metrics into the 2017 Enterprise Sustainability Report, OES was able to learn where Minnesota needs to focus its sustainability efforts and create state government operations best practices to reduce our carbon footprint.
Modernization of Minnesota’s Criminal History System – Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA) Criminal History System contains information on persons arrested, their court dispositions, and custody status that is used for critical decisions involving arrests, prosecution, and sentencing. The main objective for the BCA’s Modernization of Minnesota’s Criminal History System was to develop a more robust system that would provide timely, accurate, and complete criminal history information for better decision making. The outcome has resulted in better accessibility and flexibility for BCA customers.
For the past eight years, Governor Dayton has championed and supported the continuous improvement work of state employees. Here is a list of Award winners by year, from hundreds of nominations:
For additional information, please contact:
Curt Yoakum, Assistant Commissioner