Governor Restructures Budget Office to Focus on Efficiencies and Outcomes Cox to Head New Office of Management and Budget

SALT LAKE CITY – As the state economy continues to rebound, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert wants to take the way state government services are coordinated and funded to a new level. He is moving to reorganize and re-title the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (GOPB) as the new Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), naming Kristen Cox GOMB director.
“Taxpayers deserve maximum bang for their buck,” said the Governor. “We will capitalize on Utah’s record of good governance and sound fiscal management through better alignment of outcomes and statewide initiatives. Basically, this will make Utah more efficient in the way we do business and the way we allocate limited resources.”
The Governor added, “We have been successfully using our current performance assessment tools for a few years now, and it has driven us to enhanced service delivery within agencies. Now we need to do the same thing across the enterprise-the entire system of state government-and determine additional ways to optimize systems, revenue and personnel. It’s about service. It’s about results. It’s about vision. We are vigilant about looking for ways to do things better.”
Cox, 42, is presently serving as Dept. of Workforce Services Executive Director. She was recently named one of Utah’s “30 Women to Watch” by Utah Business Magazine and the 2012 recipient of the Days of ’47 Business and Enterprise Award. Since her 2007 appointment to DWS, Kristen has overseen major agency structural changes, saving taxpayers over $30 million and aligning DWS public assistance programs with workforce and employer demands. Her mantra: Those Who Can Work Do Work.
“Kristen’s paradigm of constant improvement stands out,” the Governor said. “She has demonstrated impressive leadership and vision at the helm of one of Utah’s largest agencies, shouldering record caseloads while fostering employment and looking for ways to grow jobs. That is exactly the approach I want as we work with agency heads to streamline operations and ramp up performance management.”
“I share Governor Herbert’s commitment to optimize all state resources for the taxpayer, those seeking services, and Utah’s future,” Cox said. “It is truly an honor to serve with him as we align our operational outcomes with the State’s priorities for jobs, education and energy. A principle-driven approach to budgeting and operations will solidify Utah’s decisive, competitive edge as the best-managed state in the nation.”
The Governor’s current budget director, Ron Bigelow, will retain his post within the new GOMB. “Ron is an integral part of this new approach and it is because of my confidence in him that we are moving in this direction at this time,” said the Governor. “Ron’s budgetary expertise, both on the legislative and administrative fronts, coupled with Kristen’s operational experience, will allow us to focus on better integrating operational expectations and performance measures into the budget process. This means enhanced transparency and accountability for public funds.”
The Governor named DWS Deputy Director Jon Pierpont acting DWS director. “With the support of Deputy Director Greg Gardner and the department’s senior management team, I am confident Jon will continue to reinforce continuous process improvement and provide stellar leadership at DWS,” the Governor stated.
Legislation will be necessary during the 2013 General Session of the Legislature to officially create the GOMB. The Governor’s Office will be working with legislative leaders over the next few months to finalize organizational details.