To My CMS Colleagues:
As the State of Illinois’ primary administrative agency, the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) is tasked with a vast scope of responsibilities and obligations to agencies, employees, retirees, vendors, businesses and local units of government. At its heart is you – our dedicated team – committed to supporting and serving each of these important stakeholders. In 2017, you’ve not only met those obligations through difficult and sometimes trying circumstances, but in many, often unheralded instances, you’ve identified opportunities and improved the delivery of those services through your efforts.
We run from meeting to meeting, facing deadline after deadline as the calendar rolls on through the year; this is my opportunity to say, “thank you”. Thanks to your contributions, CMS continues to reinvent itself to better serve taxpayers, and act as responsible stewards of its limited budgets and resources. Thank you as well for your ideas, big and small. We need to continue harnessing the collective imaginations and creativity of our teams to strengthen this agency. These aren’t just words or wishes. Let me give you a examples from 2017.
Our Personnel Bureau cleared the grading backlog that frustrated Illinois’ hiring process for over a decade. They did so through thoughtful evaluation and creative process improvements.
The CMS Benefits team expedited the development of the My Benefits website, providing state employees a modern, online portal to manage their health care needs. Yes, we acknowledge that there were a few hiccups along the way that frustrated some. But let’s remember that in a very real way, Benefits approached this challenge with a genuine sense of urgency, one that meant it was essentially building the car (or in this case, website) as it was driving it. Look for the My Benefits website to continue to improve its service to you through 2018 and beyond.
And, Agency Services not only enhanced the security and efficiency of our surplus process, but also took the first steps in modernizing our fleet management system. Many of these improvements were facilitated and enabled through partnership with our Rapid Results Office. As of October 2017, 85 percent of Rapid Results workshop participants stated that the program substantively helped them improve day-to-day operations at their agency. Almost 170 improvement projects were initiated, and through them, all of you who participated generated cost reductions of more than $1.1 million and saved more than 65,000 personnel hours.
These are just a few of the achievements of our broader team; I could go on many more pages if were to highlight every accomplishment. Know that this wealth of stories I could share is a testament to all of you and your teams’ contributions. It’s an honor and privilege to lead CMS, and I’m proud to stand before anyone and tout what our team has accomplished. Thank you again for all that you do, for a terrific, productive 2017, and here’s to an even better 2018, filled with continued success through our teamwork together.
We assume the holidays are a joyous time of year for all. But for many, this can be a time of year filled with stress, anxiety and for some, depression. It’s estimated that depression affects more than 19 million Americans, which translates into one in twenty employees being impacted. Know that the State’s employee support services through the Employee Assistance Program stands ready to support you and your colleagues. Likewise, AFSCME provides a partner program for its members – the Personal Support Program – to help you in trying times. Both programs are recognized as effective and valued services, whether it’s the holiday season, or anytime throughout the year; don’t hesitate to take advantage of these resources. Information can be found in the state employee benefits section of the CMS website as well as through the CMS Benefits portal. Your CMS Benefits team is also on hand in the event you have any questions regarding these services.
Happy Holidays to All of You and Your Families,
Michael Hoffman, Acting Director
Illinois Department of Central Management Services