Improve government efficiency and employee engagement

“We will give front line employees a voice to challenge the old ways of doing things, improve state services, and use data to make smarter decisions.”
-Governor Tom Wolf

Why is this goal important?

State government has a responsibility to the residents of Pennsylvania to run efficiently, effectively, and transparently. Engaging the state government workforce in modernizing operations and improving services is key to fulfilling this responsibility. The commonwealth's employees perform the work of state government firsthand, and are in the best position to recommend ways to streamline processes and deliver better services. 

What are we working on to reach this goal?

Governor Wolf has made government more efficient and responsive while saving hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars. In 2021 he announced, for the first time ever, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was named one of the best employers in the nation for new graduates in a survey conducted by Forbes and market research company Statista. He refuses a pension and donates his salary to charity. He banned administration officials and state employees from accepting gifts. Working across the aisle, he signed comprehensive pension reform, which reduces risk to Pennsylvania taxpayers, continues to pay down our debt, and slashes Wall Street fees while still offering state employees fair benefits. Governor Wolf eliminated $2 billion from the state budget by streamlining government and consolidating state agencies, turning a $2.5-billion deficit into a multi-billion-dollar budget surplus. The governor made the first Rainy Day Fund deposit in nearly 10 years, followed by the largest deposit in nearly two decades. He established the Office of Performance Through Excellence, an office dedicated to improving customer service, empowering commonwealth employees, removing inefficiencies, and achieving measurable results for Pennsylvanians. Governor Wolf signed Act 2 of 2018, strengthening restrictions for lobbyists and special interests and renewing his commitment to change the culture of Harrisburg and make state government more efficient and transparent. Governor Tom Wolf solidified his administration's commitment to improving the participation of small and diverse businesses - minority-, women-, LGBT-, veteran-, and disabled-owned businesses - in state government contracting and the commonwealth's overall economy by signing Executive Order 2015-11.
Small, diverse, and veteran businesses now make up 20 percent of the state’s total contractors. Governor Wolf has also taken action to improve worker safety for state employees, expand nondiscrimination protections for state workers, and raise the minimum wage for state workers.

How are we doing?

Reserve Fund Balance

The graphic shows the balance of the commonwealth's Reserve Fund, or "Rainy Day" Fund, over time. During economic downturns, Pennsylvania funds schools, human services, and public safety with these reserves. Since 1985, the Rainy Day Fund has been drained three times. In 2019, Governor Wolf made the largest-ever deposit into the fund, helping protect Pennsylvanians from future recessions. 

Related Measures

Lean Awareness

The chart below tracks the number of commonwealth employees who have completed a "Lean Awareness" course. Public- and private-sector organizations use Lean to empower employees at every level to become problem solvers and to find ways to make their work easier, better, faster, and less costly. The Wolf Administration is currently using Lean practices to bolster continuous improvement and improve customer service.