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State agencies get cutting tips

State agencies recently received a memo on cost-saving measures from the Indiana Office of Management and Budget that included guidance on spending federal funds first and not buying food or drinks for office gatherings.

The Sept. 30 directive said tax collections have lagged during the first quarter of the fiscal year, making it more important than ever for agencies to hit a reversion target of 3 percent.

Agencies must return 3 percent of the money appropriated to the general fund at the end of the fiscal year in June in order to help maintain an annual surplus of $150 million, the memo said.

To help meet that goal, OMB has issued a number of policies:

  • Spend dedicated and federal funds before state dollars.
  • Don't send mail to other agencies; use interoffice mail or email.
  • If paper copies are required, print double-sided. Also, no color copies for internal meetings.
  • Agencies should analyze the number of subscriptions to periodicals or journals, and have employees share one copy when possible.
  • No furniture purchases.
  • Agencies should not provide refreshments or light meals for the office, on-campus meetings with only state employees present or birthday, holiday, going-away or retirement parties.
"This list should not be taken as an exhaustive list of cost savings measures," the memo said. "As always, agencies should conserve all tax dollars as if expense was coming out of their own pocket. After all, we are all taxpayers!"

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.

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