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First 'Bureaucracy Busters' ideas selected to improve state government

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


LANSING, Mich. ‒ Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the first winners of the "Bureaucracy Busters" program, a social media initiative that calls on state of Michigan employees to offer innovative ideas for enhancing efficiency, customer service and the workplace.


Employees were invited to post ideas on a "crowdsourcing" website, vote on the ideas that they prefer, and provide feedback on others' ideas. Nearly 8,300 state employees participated, 1,200 ideas were posted, 5,896 comments were offered, and 110,000 votes were cast since the program launched Sept. 5. Three winning ideas were selected for implementation, and the winning employees met with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley to discuss their ideas.


"Some of the best ideas for improving state government come from inside state government," Snyder said. "Our state employees see potential ways to improve customer service all around them, and now they have the tools to come forward and do something about it. I'm glad that thousands of state employees answered the call to help make our state work better. Together, we can reinvent Michigan and make sure that state government serves its customers -- the people of Michigan -- to the best of our ability."


The winners are:

  • David Coger, transportation engineer, Michigan Department of Transportation, who suggested cutting down on the number of passwords to access state employee websites. Because of Coger's idea, the state is working on a software solution to address the password situation. A new tool will be piloted soon and Coger will be among the employees invited to participate in the project.


  • Selena R. Friend, MDOT associate region engineer for development in MDOT's Bay Region, who suggested notifying job applicants when they are not selected for interviews. Following up on Friend's suggestion, the Department of Civil Service is coordinating with human resource professionals across state government to implement the change.


  • Tom Barrett, a Department of Treasury analyst, who suggested that Pure Michigan billboards include the names of the scenic locations that are featured in the marketing campaign's photos. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. will incorporate Barrett's suggestion into its 2013 advertising plan.


Calley said the volume and detail of ideas was impressive and that he enjoyed participating in the Bureaucracy Busters program, right alongside other state employees.


"It was remarkable to see the hundreds of ideas and thousands of comments from our state employees," Calley said. "We have an incredibly talented work force, and I'm excited they want to join the effort to improve how we do business in state government."


The next phase of the Bureaucracy Busters program will invite state employees to vote on one of several problems they want to solve together. Once selected, they can offer ideas for solving that problem on the Bureaucracy Busters website.


The Bureaucracy Busters initiative is a takeoff on the Discovery Channel's "MythBusters" television program, which investigates the validity of rumors and myths, and "busts" those that aren't true. Bureaucracy Busters addresses the third goal of the governor's 10-point plan for reinventing Michigan, which is to reinvent our government.