Gov. Corbett’s Budget Guidelines Include Privatizing Yellow Pages, Streamlining

An Administrative Circular sent to state agencies this month outlines Gov. Tom Corbett’s expectation for his 2012-13 Executive Budget. Recognizing the state will be faced with fiscal challenges in the future, the circular tells agencies not to assume funding increases for the next fiscal year, to offset increased operating and fixed asset spending needs with efficiency savings, and consider privatizing services.

The Governor’s guidelines for agencies mirror many of CF’s recommendations this year.

  • “Agencies cannot assume a cost-to-carry budget…agencies should look to their employees to find better ways to do things and to identify and eliminate or modify wasteful practices or processes. For more information on performance-based budgeting, see CF’s policy brief, Reality-Based Budgeting, which address the pitfalls of simply spending more on current programs year after year.
  • “Agencies should identify opportunities for functional outsourcing or consolidations. The “Yellow Pages” test provides a good place to start.” For ideas on things that could be privatized, see Commonwealth Foundation’s report, Privatizing ‘Yellow Pages’ Government, which describes the yellow pages test and identifies businesses government should get out of.
  • “Agencies must develop an agenda for the review and evaluation of all regulations. Particular attention should be given to revising or repealing those regulations that create an undue burden on job creators with little public benefit. Similarly, agencies should identify those regulations that are expensive to administer but have little public benefit and seek non-regulatory and more cost-effective approaches to achieve the intended public purpose.” For ideas on how to reduce the burden of over-regulation, check out our report Streamlining State Government.