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Michigan Named One of Best-Managed States

Governing Magazine Gives Michigan B+; Only Two States Receive Higher Grade

January 31, 2005

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today expressed appreciation to Governing magazine for recognizing Michigan as an outstanding leader in its Government Performance Project (GPP) report entitled, "Grading the States 2005."

The nationwide report card gives Michigan high marks in the areas of money, people, infrastructure, and information management and will be reported in Governing's February edition. Only Virginia and Utah scored higher than Michigan - both received an A-. In addition to the state of Michigan, four other states received a B+.

"This underscores our total commitment to running a lean, but not mean, Michigan," said Granholm. "Our goal is to ensure that citizens get every penny of value out of every one of their tax dollars. We can do nothing less than provide the services citizens most want in the most efficient way possible."

The report praised the Granholm Administration, particularly in the areas of:

  • strategic planning through the Governor's Cabinet Action Plan, which emphasizes results;
  • implementation of a "silo busting" outcome budgeting process;
  • use of information technology to support management decision making;
  • infrastructure management, especially the Michigan Department of Transportation's asset management approach;
  • public input exhibited by state government from committee hearings and online surveys, to the Governor's statewide budget tours;
  • exceptional financial reporting from the Office of Financial Management;
  • innovative procurement and ethical contracting practices of the Department of Management and Budget;
  • leadership in employee recognition and appreciation; and,
  • flexible hiring practices, as highlighted in the diversity recruitment strategies of the Department of Environmental Quality.

The conclusions in the report are based on research released by the GPP, the nation's only comprehensive, independent analysis of how well each state government is managed and actually performs. The report, the result of a year of research by a team of academics and journalists, is designed to allow state leaders to identify their state's strengths and weaknesses and to compare the performance of their state to others.

Quite possibly the most impressive accolade received was for Granholm's Cabinet Action Plan that was established in 2003 to align strategic planning and tracking with individual agency-level planning. The Governor's office monitors department progress to ensure that stated goals and priorities are being met. It is from this plan that the workgroups were formed to develop priorities for the 2006 fiscal year budget, which will be presented to the Legislature February 10.

According to the report, "Michigan's recent movement to integrate statewide and agency strategic planning through the Cabinet Action Plan is indeed impressive. The goals and objectives outlined in the plan are inherently results-focused and include targets for future performance. Governor Granholm's administration instills a common set of values and a common vision for employees."

The report goes on to praise the state's use of technology as a "model for other states." Michigan's technology plan has already been recognized with the prestigious Digital Government Award for ranking first in the nation in the use of information technology to transform and improve government.

"This assessment, with its emphasis on performance and results, was more rigorous than any of the previous and sets a new national benchmark and standard, with Michigan in front as a proven leader," Granholm added. "As the report points out, we have accomplished much in two years under extremely difficult circumstances. I'll be proud to show them even better results when they conduct the next assessment three years from now."

This is the third time the GPP has graded the states. According to the report, grades in this version are not comparable with grades in the previous phases of the project because the number of categories and grading criteria have changed, and there is now an emphasis on results that was not part of previous grading processes.

The project is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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All 50 states received grades in the GPP's report, which can be found at and in the February issue of Governing.