Finally, Some Numbers on VITA Cost Savings

Among the nuggets hidden in William Leighty’s recitation of the Warner administration’s government reforms (See “A Record of Reform” in the current issue of the Bacon’s Rebellion e-zine) is this:

Fiscal Year 2005 savings are estimated at $23.4 million, with cost avoidance estimated at $1.5 million for FY 05. By the end of this decade, we expect to see $138.3 million in outright savings and almost $5 million in cost avoidance.

We have been tracking VITA on this blog for some time. These are the first concrete numbers I’ve seen regarding how much money the agency is saving. Although $23 million in the fiscal year past seems modest, efficiencies amounting to nearly $140 million by the end of the decade are not to be sneezed at. If these numbers pan out, one would have to classify VITA as a success.

I realize there are a lot of VITA skeptics out there, and I also know that “cost savings” numbers can be mushy. Further, I would like to know how these cost savings can be reconciled with the push earlier this year to charge state agencies higher fees for VITA services (only to be made unnecessary, apparently, by some budgetary maneuver that I haven’t seen fully explained). Can anyone shed some light?


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Comments

  1. I’ll shed light.

    1. The Governor’s communication’s people were overzealous in their promotion of VITA cost savings. Most bureaucrats knew this was a long term thing. But hey, that’s what communications people do. For example, people weren’t really told about the upfront costs (creating the new central server, new security measures, etc) that would keep this from incurring savings for a few years.

    2. Costs are higher than expected. Some things aren’t running as smoothly as expected. It’s not perfect (as expected). Of course, anyone who’s followed bureacracies should know that changing them is like pulling teeth without a painkiller.

    3. But…it’s still a good idea. It makes sense to consolidate…it’s a commonsense idea. I think in the long run, once we get past all of the disgruntled bureaucrats who are losing employees to VITA, we’ll see this work out in the way you’ve described.

  2. theShadow Avatar
    theShadow

    Is there any breakdown of these “estimated” savings and avoidances (don’t buy the moon and it will save you a zillion dollars. Doesn’t mean you had a zillion dollars to save)? I’ve seen some of VITA’s “new math” and it only works if you hold it _just right_.

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