Governor Larry Hogan Appoints Robert R. Neall as Senior Advisor
Former State Senator, County Executive to Lead Overhaul of Executive Branch Departments, Agencies
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of former Anne Arundel County Executive and State Senator Robert R. Neall as a senior advisor to the governor and director of the newly formed Office of Transformation and Renewal. Mr. Neall’s appointment will formally take effect on July 1, 2016, until which time he will provide counsel to the administration on a voluntary basis.
As head of the Office of Transformation and Renewal and as a member of Governor Hogan’s senior staff, Mr. Neall will lead a multi-year effort to optimize government departments and agencies within the executive branch. Working closely with members of the Cabinet as well as the legislature, Mr. Neall’s primary focus will be on three areas: efficiency improvements, greater accountability and performance benchmarks, and improved customer services throughout Maryland state government.
Starting in January 2015, the Hogan administration has initiated measures to drive improvements within state agencies, including the creation of the State Regulatory Reform Commission, the formation of the Commission on Procurement Reform, the formation of the Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement, new customer service training programs in large departments, and the consolidation of certain IT and back-office functions in smaller state agencies. Mr. Neall’s work will draw on the outstanding progress already underway in multiple agencies.
In the 40 years since the last major re-organization of the executive branch, Maryland’s government has sprawled to include 23 executive branch departments, eight coordinating offices, 70 independent agencies, and over 550 boards and commissions.
“State government, as it stands today, is unwieldy and needs to be fixed. Bobby Neall has the experience, patience, and vision to revitalize our government to ensure that every single agency in the state is running at peak efficiency and that Marylanders are the beneficiaries of high-quality services,” said Governor Hogan. “State government exists to serve the people of Maryland – not the other way around, and Bobby is exactly the right person to guarantee that every agency is held to this common-sense standard.”
“Put simply, Marylanders deserve better-quality services at lower prices, and that is what I intend to deliver on behalf of Governor Hogan,” said Mr. Neall. “We have a lot of great people and great ideas in state agencies that can make a huge difference, but the overall structure we have in place today is cumbersome and makes poor use of technology that could dramatically improve customer service. Identifying opportunities and putting changes in places will take time, but the long-term benefits to taxpayers will last for decades.”
Mr. Neall’s appointment follows the December 2015 release of the first report of the State Regulatory Reform Commission, which concluded that agencies are working within an antiquated system that lacks consistency and communication. The report also noted significant overlapping regulatory jurisdiction between state agencies. Overall, the report called for a comprehensive review of Maryland’s state government structure and organization to eliminate duplicative responsibilities and functions, improve customer service, and make better use of 21st-century technology to deliver services.
The last major re-organization of executive branch functions and agencies took place between 1969 and 1972 under the leadership of Governor Marvin Mandel. At that time, state government was reorganized to bring 250 agencies with related functions together under a new structure that included just 12 Cabinet-level departments.