Romney Institute Director David Hart Joins State Optimization Council

Gov. Gary R. Herbert recently appointed David Hart, director of the Romney Institute of Public Management, to join a new state council looking to give Utah an economic and a managerial boost. Hart and other Utah leaders will focus on cutting costs, streamlining services and bettering the Beehive State.

"While Utah has been recognized as the best managed state in America, there is always room to evaluate and improve how we serve," Gov. Herbert says. "This isn't just about doing it cheaper; it's about doing it better."

The Advisory Council on Optimizing and Streamlining State Government is charged with reducing costs, consolidating agencies and improving management practices in upwards of 40 state agencies — essentially trimming down expenses while beefing up benefits for Utahns.

Hart's background in public administration and strategic management makes for a unique and valuable addition to the cause. Gov. Herbert has also assembled an array of leaders from business, government, and community and state agencies to join Hart, the only academic on the council.

"I represent the educational side of management and the strategy behind public administration," Hart says. "And because I work at a private university, I hope to contribute an objective perspective to the council."

The council will meet biweekly until December in hopes of submitting a proposal for next year's legislative session.

"The state has a history of good management, but we cannot sit on our laurels hoping it will stay this way," Harts says and adds that the council is not charged with massive restructuring. The council will further Utah's ongoing efforts to cut costs and streamline services.

One example of recent restructuring includes Utah centralizing the Department of Human Resource Management, replacing agencies' individual HR managers with HR representatives in the state office, saving thousands of dollars while maintaining productivity.

In addition to centralizing, the council will also consider consolidating agencies as an option for optimization.

"We're not looking to consolidate just to consolidate; we're looking to identify opportunities to reduce costs and improve the delivery of services to citizens," Hart says. "Utah is already moving in the right direction, and we want to maintain that momentum."  

The Romney Institute of Public Management was named in 1998 for three-term Michigan Governor George W. Romney. Part of Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, the Romney Institute offers a master's degree in public administration through both pre-service and executive programs. The Romney Institute has a long tradition of preparing young people for careers in public service and is dedicated to educating men and women of faith, character and professional ability who will become outstanding managers and leaders in public and nonprofit institutions worldwide.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Carrie Akinaka