Get to know the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dear Fellow Nebraskans:

I want to highlight the work done by the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services (DAS), which plays an important role in organizing and maintaining the resources of state government. The department serves as a central point of contact supporting the work of state agencies.

The department includes a number of divisions ranging from personnel, accounting and budget officers to transportation and building supervisors, who manage the fleet of state vehicles, maintain offices and property and supervise construction projects. Another key division is the Office of the Chief Information Officer, responsible for a wide range of information technology, communications and data protection measures for state agencies.

In each area, DAS personnel have utilized technology to help make the operation of state government more efficient and cost-effective.

Over the years the department has closed copy centers, eliminated mail routes and consolidated contracts for purchasing office supplies, which has helped reduce spending on office needs by a significant margin. As an example, many offices have exchanged desktop printers for computers networked to copiers that can also be used for printing.

Last summer the personnel division launched a new online application and tracking system for posting and applying for positions in state government. The web-based program allows job applicants to complete one online application for multiple available positions. It also allows applicants the option of receiving alerts when a position of interest is posted. This system coordinates communication between job applicants, state personnel staff and the hiring agency.

This new program connects all agencies through a single platform. It reduces paperwork, helping save $24,000 a year by eliminating the cost to maintain paper files, and shortened the average time needed to post a job from seven to two days. Thus far, nearly 70,000 online applications have been received through the online system.

The online applicant tracking feature is the first component of a comprehensive talent management program that will help eliminate redundancy and create a more efficient platform to train employees. Nebraska has been recognized as a leader in implementing public sector talent management solutions and will continue to provide efficient, user-friendly technology to enhance the level of service provided to state agencies.

Other innovative efforts have included the development of a wellness program. Started in 2009, the State of Nebraska wellness program has achieved 25 percent participation thus far.

Our wellness program was the first of its kind to offer state workers a combined wellness program promoting disease prevention and healthier lifestyles and a comprehensive health insurance plan emphasizing preventative screenings. Our efforts to encourage workplace wellness resulted in the State of Nebraska becoming one of only two state governments awarded the Wellness Council of America's Gold Well Workplace Award.

In addition to coordinating recycling and the storage and re-use of state-owned equipment and furniture, managing payroll and benefits for state employees, the department also coordinates a major outreach effort each year on behalf of state government.

The State Employee Charitable Giving Campaign provides an opportunity for staff across state government to make a donation or set aside a portion of their earnings throughout the year to benefit charitable groups across the state. The 2010 campaign raised nearly $425,000 for more than 400 organizations across Nebraska.

These responsibilities, programs and tools are a few of the many ways the Department of Administrative Services helps contribute to a more efficient, more transparent and more responsive state government. We are always looking for opportunities to streamline our operations and help our workforce move Nebraska forward. The staff of the Department of Administrative Services is a valuable resource in accomplishing those goals.

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