Governor Doug Ducey held a virtual meeting with agency directors to discuss how state agencies are innovating during the pandemic to prioritize public health and safety and continue serving Arizonans. Throughout the pandemic, agencies have adjusted by moving customer services online, implementing public health mitigation measures, enabling staff to work remotely, onboarding new employees quickly to respond to unprecedented economic demand, and more while continuing to identify efficiencies, improvements and savings for taxpayers.
Agencies highlighted some examples discussed during today’s meeting:
Arizona Department of Child Safety
The Arizona Department of Child Safety has prioritized maintaining vital in-person visits to carry out Arizona’s commitment to strengthen families and achieve permanency for kids in need. Since March, these efforts have led to more than 3,000 kids being reunified and more than 1,700 adoptions taking place.
Arizona National Guard
More than 730 Arizona National Guard members are currently deployed across the state responding to the pandemic, assisting public health efforts, protecting our communities and serving Arizonans. In addition, recruitment is up this year as more young Arizonans want to serve and protect others.
Arizona Department of Economic Security
The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) has brought on more than 1,500 individuals to respond to the economic downturn and get benefits to Arizonans quickly. Likewise, DES has leveraged technology to cut down on fraud, including reducing UI claims from 600,000 to 20,000 weekly through smart identity verification.
Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona continues to attract new businesses and jobs. Arizona Commerce Authority efforts are producing record-breaking numbers, with more than 300 jobs projects in the pipeline. Roughly 35 projects have been added since July, representing $1.2 billion in capital investment and 10,000 new jobs.
Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services
At the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, the department is partnering with the Arizona Department of Health Services to implement mitigation protocols at veteran homes, while facilitating connections with family and loved ones.
Arizona Department of Administration
The Arizona Department of Administration has supported efforts such as the 2020 Census and collaborated with state and local election officials to help ensure safe elections. The department also has worked with the Arizona Department of Health Services to expand COVID-19 testing to state employees and the public.
Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry
The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry has partnered with the Arizona Department of Health Services to expand testing to all inmates and staff and implement mitigation measures, such as providing PPE and sanitation supplies. They’ve also utilized videoconferencing to ensure staff collaboration and keep inmates connected with loved ones.
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
AHCCCS is utilizing tools provided by the Arizona Management System to enable 84% of staff to work remotely, while continuing to serve Arizonans. This has led to reductions in building and transportation costs and improvements in employee engagement.
Arizona Department of Transportation
To minimize in-person interactions during the pandemic, the Arizona Department of Transportation has evolved to serve more customers online and over the phone. Partnerships with private sector companies also are leading to more opportunities for Arizonans to receive more services virtually.
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has continued prioritizing safe air and water, including testing more than 1 million cars in recent months to ensure air quality. With roughly 90% of staff working remotely, the department has achieved consolidations equaling nearly $500,000 in savings, with more to come.