For Immediate Release
August 2, 2000
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
I believe that our Department has the most dedicated men and women working today in state government. I am proud that every day, thousands of our employees in our institutions and field offices work hard to ensure public safety in Florida. Governor Bush strongly supports our mission and his leadership made many of our priorities a reality this year. The Governor and I are committed to this agency's mission and all of our employees.
This year the Governor asked the Legislature to pass several important initiatives for our employees, including special risk retirement benefits for probation officers. In addition, in partnership with the Governor, the Legislature enacted a state budget that seeks to reduce unnecessary costs in all state agencies while preserving critical agency priorities, such as public safety.
This year's budget presents our agency with a new challenge: We must address the loss of approximately 1,200 vacant positions and a reduction in position funding. The 2000-01 budget authorizes 27,669 full-time employee (FTE) positions for the department, which is a smaller number of positions than previously funded. In addition, we face a $13.8 million shortfall if all positions currently filled remain the same.
This shortfall requires that we eliminate 479 jobs, some of which are not vacant. In keeping true to the Governor's public-safety principles, no correctional officers or probation officers will be affected by these changes. This means that any necessary reductions will occur in administrative areas including Central Office.
We continue to analyze the personnel situation very carefully and are working to make any reductions consistent with our reorganization goals. My commitment to administrative staff is that we will do everything possible to help affected employees. Any person who may be adversely affected will have full access to job fairs, resume writing classes and employability-skills training. In addition, I will ask every agency to give serious consideration to any of our employees affected by our budget reduction. We also have posted information on our internet and intranet sites that are intended to answer many questions about the budget and work-force reduction process.
So far, the preliminary budget plan includes reducing the number of service centers from 7 to 4 (Marianna, Lake City, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale will remain open.) This brings the service centers in line with the four institutional regions, which makes sense because the mission of the service centers is to support the facilities in the institutional regions.
I also want to maximize the benefits of technology to streamline operations and reduce duplication of effort. If we standardize the delivery of services to the greatest extent possible then fewer resources will be required to deliver those services. My goal - as always - is to manage the agency with a business-like philosophy so we can provide our front-line CO's and CPO's with the resources they need to accomplish our core mission: protect, incarcerate and control.
Once all the details are worked out and the organizational charts drawn, they will be submitted to the Office of Policy and Budget in the Governor's Executive Office and the Department of Management Services (DMS) for approval. This will take some time, but we hope to be well on our way by the end of summer.
The next few weeks will present this agency with a challenge: to accomplish our public-safety mission consistently with the Governor's policy and the Legislature's mandate to effectively expend public resources. My commitment to you is that I will work to meet these goals fairly and will always communicate our efforts to you.
Michael W. Moore