Oklahoma gets a 'C' in managing systems that deliver public services

Tuesday, January 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma is using better technology to manage government systems, but is still doing only an average job of delivering services to its citizens, according to a new report.

The report, released Tuesday by the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and Governing magazine, gave Oklahoma a C grade in managing service-delivering systems. It was the same grade Oklahoma got two years ago in the report.

But Oklahoma improved from a C- in 1999 to a B- in 2001 in how it uses information technology.

"A stellar network system -- which connects virtually every entity of significance in the state -- has driven agencies to understand the importance of acquiring technology that's compatible across functional links," the report said.

Oklahoma's grade on financial management dropped from a B- to a C+, largely because of criticism about the state's lack of long-term planning, the report said.

The state's human resources efforts rated a C-, the same as in 1999. The grade was affected by the state Health Department scandal involving employees who were paid for doing little or no work, the report said.

"The state emphasizes training, which is great and has made some impressive reforms, but its salaries still lag the market badly and it has a tough time recruiting college students," said Katherine Barrett, special projects editor for Governing magazine.