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Phase II: Efficiency Audit of Operational Areas

The Phase II report is the second of three reports that were provided by Gibson Consulting Group, Inc.:

Phase II: Operational Efficiency Audit – Comprehensive Report - presented to board in October 2016 - Click to read full report (PDF)

District Highlights

This report presents the results of Phase II, and incorporates applicable recommendations from Phase I that relate to operational areas.

Background

General Fund expenditures per student, after increasing over four previous years, dropped in 2015-16 due to district cost control efforts.


graph of general fund expenditures

As a result, the drop in General Fund balances, which was the primary driver for this study, has stabilized. (Amounts below represent $ millions.)


graph of general fund balances

HCPS has lower staffing efficiency (more staff relative to its student population) than its Florida peer districts – as indicated by lower staff to employee FTE ratio. (Ratios below reflect 2014-15, most recent state data available.)


graph of staff efficiency in HCPS

Phase II Objectives and Scope

Phase II objectives were to: identify best practices; identify additional savings opportunities; identify opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness; and identify needed investments in the following operational areas:

  • Governance and Administration
  • Financial Management (including Accounting, Budgeting and Procurement)
  • Human Resources Management
  • Technology Management
  • Transportation Management
  • Facilities Management

Because of the number of savings opportunities identified, most of the transportation work was conducted in Phase I. Also, the review of technology management focused on the district’s implementation of 126 recommendations made through a prior comprehensive study conducted in 2013. This Phase II report incorporates applicable recommendations and approximately $33 million in net annual savings from Phase I that relate to operational areas.

Phase II Results

Total net annual savings for Phase I and II combined – excluding the pupil-teacher ratio recommendation in Phase I – is $47 million upon full implementation by 2019-20. (See recap below.)


graph of total net savings for Phase 1 and 2 combined

If fully implemented, recommendations contained in this report will require one-time investments of $28,805,000 and additional investments in subsequent years. Several significant investments in facilities, transportation and technology are needed but cannot currently be quantified.

Several best practices were observed during Phase II, including:

  • Strong strategic plan and process
  • Efficient procurement card (P-Card) program
  • Efficiency E-payables process for paying vendors
  • Creative and effective teacher recruitment plan
  • PATH alternative certification program for ESE teachers

The Phase II report contains 55 recommendations to improve efficiency and management effectiveness in HCPS operational areas. Major recommendation themes that applied to multiple areas:

  • Upgrade senior management job descriptions to include technical qualifications specific to the job
  • Maximize the use of existing and newer technologies to streamline processes
  • Implement division and department level performance measures and integrate with budget

Other Recommendations by Operational Area

Governance and Administration

  • Consider several options to improve board meeting efficiency
  • Expand the scope of internal audit function
  • Develop decision-making framework for central office, area offices, and schools
  • Increase use of complaint tracking system
  • Reduce demands for clerical staffing 1

Financial Management

  • Change account codes to support more effective cost control and financial reporting
  • Document new budget procedures and start earlier
  • Develop supplemental budget report to improve transparency
  • Increase use of procurement and accounts payable systems
  • Require all hourly employees to report hours worked
  • Purchase timekeeping software to streamline time reporting

Human Resources Management

  • Reorganize the HR Division
  • Upgrade technical qualifications of HR positions
  • Re-engineer HR processes
  • Consider self-funded health insurance program
  • Conduct dependent eligibility audit

Technology Management

  • Overall 48% of prior consultant recommendations completed
  • Major areas of progress from prior consultant report
    • Data warehouse
    • Division reorganization
    • Establishing IT Councils
    • Communication of Service Level Agreements
  • Major areas needing attention:
    • Adopting new IT service model
    • ERP upgrade
    • Project management office

Transportation Management

  • Increasing the staggering of bell schedules
  • Phasing out courtesy transportation for secondary school students
  • Reducing bus driver absenteeism
  • Reducing bus driver and vehicle maintenance staff overtime pay
  • Require school buses to be parked at HCPS transportation facilities
  • Reduce spare bus ratio

Facilities Management

  • Enhance preventive maintenance program
  • Phase out multi-trade workers
  • Change custodial staffing formulas and management approach
  • Implement additional energy conservation measures
  • Streamline maintenance processes

1 This recommendation was made as part of Phase I of the Educational and Operational Audit for HCPS.

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