Statement from Governor John Carney on Bomb Threats to Siegel JCC

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor Carney released the following statement after a bomb threat to Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington was cleared:

“The continued bomb threats to Siegel JCC must stop. These hateful actions place a shadow over our state and country. Our law enforcement officials will continue to work diligently to find the individuals responsible and hold them accountable.”


Governor Carney Nominates Commissioner Mary S. Much as Family Court Judge

Commissioner Much previously served in the Office of Disciplinary Council

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday announced the nomination of Family Court Commissioner Mary S. Much to serve as a Family Court Judge in New Castle County.

Governor Carney’s nomination must be confirmed by the Delaware Senate.

“Commissioner Much is well-prepared to serve as a Judge on the Family Court,” said Governor Carney. “She has the experience, knowledge and judgment necessary to fairly decide cases that come before the Family Court – cases that have a real impact on the lives of Delawareans. I am confident she is the right person for the job.”

The Honorable Mary S. Much has served as a Family Court Commissioner in New Castle County since May 2006, and previously served as a Family Court Commissioner from 1994 to 1999. Commissioner Much was mostly recently re-appointed last year by Governor Jack Markell and confirmed by the Delaware Senate. From 1999 to 2006, she served in the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware. Earlier, she spent three years as a Deputy Attorney General at the Delaware Department of Justice. Commissioner Much is a 1977 graduate of Wilmington Friends School, and holds degrees from Villanova University and the Delaware Law School at Widener University.


Governor Carney Creates Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board

Governor signs Executive Order #4 establishing the GEAR Board to identify efficiencies

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney signed Executive Order Four on Thursday, establishing the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board (GEAR) to identify, on an ongoing basis, opportunities for cost savings in state government.

Members of the board are listed in the text of the executive order, which is available below.

The board, which will begin meeting in the next month, will develop recommendations for increasing efficiency and effectiveness across state government. Its members will explore ways to improve the strategic financial planning process, and expand the use of metrics in determining how to allocate state resources.

The board’s recommendations will be intended to consistently improve the way the state delivers services, and to improve the quality of those services.

“We need a serious, permanent effort to identify cost savings and efficiencies in state government, and that’s what we’ll get with the GEAR Board” said Governor Carney. “We must do things differently than we’ve always done them, and find smarter ways to operate more effectively and protect taxpayer dollars. Delawareans expect us to responsibly manage their money, and we’re committed to doing just that.”

Each year, by December 1, the GEAR Board will submit a report to the Governor, including recommendations that may be included in the recommended state budget. Recommendations may include ways that state government agencies can share services, and new methods for improving the recruitment, development and retention of state employees.

By May 1 of this year, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Secretary of Finance will produce a report for the Governor, including recommendations for the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee to review as its members finalize the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget.

Annual reports of the GEAR Board will be made public.

“Our challenge as a government is providing the services that residents want and need in their daily lives, while keeping costs down,” said Representative Melanie George Smith, D-Bear, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee. “We on the Joint Finance Committee appreciate what Governor Carney is doing by looking for ways to cut costs, and fund services responsibly for our taxpayers. Our goal is to continue providing necessary, quality services at a good value.”

“I think Delawareans should be heartened by the efforts of both the legislative branch – through the Joint Finance Committee – and now the Governor’s Office, to do a top-down review of our budget as we grapple with challenges this year and beyond,” said Senator Harris McDowell, D-Wilmington North, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee. “We are all committed to leaving no stone unturned when it comes to balancing our budget in a way that protects working families. And on June 30 we will deliver a balanced budget that meets the needs of all our citizens.”

“It’s prudent to constantly reassess how we can make government more effective and responsive,” said Delaware House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford. “My hope is that this effort produces tangible suggestions that lead to implemented results, not only to improve government, but to increase the success of our economic development initiatives.”

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EXECUTIVE ORDER
NUMBER FOUR
TO: HEADS OF ALL STATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
RE: ESTABLISHING THE GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD

WHEREAS, the United States and the State of Delaware have experienced sustained but modest economic growth over the past eight years in the aftermath of the nation’s extraordinary economic setbacks suffered in 2008; and

WHEREAS, the combination of modest economic growth, a decline in labor force participation rates due to an aging population, and the State’s unique revenue mix have each contributed to modest revenue growth over the past eight years and DEFAC has forecasted that revenue growth may continue to be constrained by these factors for years in the future; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware current forecasts a $350 million gap for fiscal year 2018 and DEFAC anticipates continuing budget gaps well into the future unless expenditure growth is constrained and/or revenues are increased; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware is committed to the most transparent and responsible use of taxpayer funds as it strives to overcome fiscal challenges, while promoting a smarter and more efficient State government; and
WHEREAS, the State has periodically undertaken top to bottom reviews of State spending but has failed to institute a permanent and ongoing program to continuously identify, monitor, and implement programs, policies and processes that bend the cost curve downwards, boost efficiency and cut costs elsewhere within State government.

NOW, THEREFORE, I JOHN C. CARNEY, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, do hereby DECLARE and ORDER the following:

  1. The Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board (GEAR) is hereby established to develop recommendations for increasing efficiency and effectiveness across State government, including by improving the strategic planning process, improving the use of metrics in resource allocation decisions and developing continuous improvement practices.
  2. GEAR shall consist of the following members:
    a. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB);
    b. The Secretary of Finance;
    c. The Secretary of the Department of Technology and Information;
    d. The Controller General;
    e. The State Treasurer;
    f. The Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court;
    g. The Secretary of Health and Social Services;
    h. The Secretary of Education;
    i. A representative from the Delaware business community appointed by the Governor; and
    j. A representative from AFSCME appointed by the Governor.
  3. A Chair and Vice Chair, or Co-Chairs, shall be appointed from among the members and shall serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the Governor.
  4. Members serving by virtue of position may appoint a designee to serve in their stead and at their pleasure.
  5. The Governor may increase the size of GEAR and appoint additional members at his pleasure.
  6. The Executive Sponsors of the initiative will be the Director of OMB, the Secretary of Finance, and the Controller General.
  7. GEAR shall convene in February, or soon thereafter, and its scope of work shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
    a. Developing ideas for potential cost savings and driving implementation of cost savings opportunities for shared services across State government and public education, including in areas such as human resources, information technology, accounting and financial management, management of State assets, professional development and the use of administrative support positions, to better focus resources on the direct delivery of services to the public;
    b. Identifying the numerous quality improvement initiatives existing across State government and recommending ways the initiatives might work together to  establish continuous improvement programs across the State, including by exploring and expanding partnerships with the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Delaware Quality Partnership, and the State’s higher education network;
    c. Recommending changes to the Delaware Government Accountability Act that will better drive strategic planning, help develop meaningful performance metrics, foster more effective monitoring of performance and allocation of scarce resources as part of the budget process, and promote continuous improvement programs throughout State government; and
    d. Identifying changes in the State personnel system that would foster a culture of continuous improvement and improve the recruitment, development and retention of State employees.
  8. No later than May 1, 2017, the Director of OMB and the Secretary of Finance shall issue to the Governor a report containing preliminary recommendations they wish the Joint Finance Committee to review when considering the fiscal year 2018 budget. The preliminary report of GEAR shall be a public document.
  9. No later than December 1 of each year, or at an earlier date requested by the Governor, GEAR shall submit to the Governor a report containing recommendations the Governor may include in the Governor’s Recommended Budget. The completed report of GEAR shall be a public document.
  10. Administrative support for GEAR shall be provided by existing staff within OMB, the Department of Finance, the Department of Education, and other State government agencies whose employees have experience in quality management and continuous improvement practices.

APPROVED this 16th date of February 2017.

___________________________________
John C. Carney
Governor

ATTEST:
___________________________________
Secretary of State


Governor Carney Announces Selections to Lead Independent Review of Hostage Incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center

Governor signs order naming Justice Ridgely and Judge Chapman to lead review

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney signed Executive Order Two on Tuesday, appointing retired Delaware Supreme Court Justice Henry duPont Ridgely and retired Family Court Judge William L. Chapman, Jr. to lead the independent review into the February 1 hostage incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

The review will begin following the completion of the Delaware State Police criminal investigation into the death of correctional officer Lieutenant Steven Floyd.

“As I have been saying since February 1, we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find out exactly what happened inside James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and what we can do to prevent this from happening again,” said Governor John Carney. “These are two well-respected judges who are independent thinkers, with legal background and analytical skills necessary to perform a thorough review and make necessary recommendations. I thank Justice Ridgely and Judge Chapman for their willingness to take on this difficult but important task.”

Justice Ridgely and Judge Chapman will review the events surrounding the hostage incident and related security issues at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and make recommendations to help assure the safety and security of employees and inmates at the facility. Governor Carney, with his executive order, has directed the Department of Correction and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to cooperate fully with the independent examination.

The reviewers will present a preliminary report by June 1 to Governor Carney that includes findings about what contributed to the hostage incident and initial recommendations to improve security at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. They will issue a final report to the Governor by August 15.

“This was a tragic incident that deserves a full and thorough independent examination,” said Justice Henry duPont Ridgely. “We will focus our efforts, first and foremost, on learning how this happened. And we will act with urgency to produce meaningful recommendations that would make Delaware’s correctional facilities more secure, and hopefully prevent this type of incident from happening again.”

“We will act expeditiously and with purpose to understand what happened at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center,” said Judge William L. Chapman, Jr. “We are committed to undertaking this review with independence, and the people of Delaware should feel confident that we will identify and recommend changes we believe are necessary to improve safety and security at the facility.”

Justice Ridgely is Senior Counsel at the global law firm DLA Piper and a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware. Justice Ridgely served more than 30 years as a jurist in the Delaware Judiciary. He served as a Justice on the Delaware Supreme Court from 2004 until 2015 before joining DLA Piper. He served as a Judge on the Superior Court of Delaware from 1984 until 2004, including 14 years as the President Judge of the Court.

Judge Chapman is Chief Talent and Diversity Officer and Senior Counsel at Potter Anderson & Corroon. Prior to joining the firm, Judge Chapman served as a Family Court judge for the state of Delaware. He also served as Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice.

 


Fiscal Responsibility Earns Delaware a Universal Triple-A Credit Rating

Rating agencies express confidence in Delaware’s financial management

WILMINGTON, Del. – The three major rating agencies have once again awarded Delaware a Triple-A credit rating, the highest mark that a state can achieve.

Delaware has earned the Triple-A rating for 17 years, and the rating agencies continue to express confidence in Delaware’s strong financial management and its ability to effectively address budget challenges.

“Delawareans expect us to responsibly manage the state’s finances, protect taxpayer dollars, and make smart investments on behalf of the people of our state. These ratings re-affirm our commitment to those principles,” said Governor John Carney.

“It’s no secret that we face budget challenges. But we are committed to working toward a sustainable, long-term solution that allows us to focus on improving our schools, protecting our environment and ensuring that Delaware remains a competitive place for businesses to create good jobs.”

Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services continue to recognize the state’s strong fiscal practices and, in doing so, cited the state’s proactive management style, strong financial operations, and history of maintaining ample budgetary reserves.

“We expect Delaware’s long history of what we view as prudent fiscal management to continue as the state maneuvers through near-term budgetary challenges and mounting long-term liabilities,” Standard & Poor’s Rating Services said in its report.

The ratings were released as the state prepares to take bids on $225 million in general obligation bonds on Thursday, February 23. The bonds will be sold to fund state objectives – including improvements to schools, libraries, and other state facilities.

A Triple-A rating will allow the state to fund these projects at the lowest possible interest rates.

“Delaware has established solid, conservative principles for sound financial management,” said Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger. “We remain committed to making financial decisions that protect the interests of our residents, businesses and taxpayers.”

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