The following is a news release from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
BATON ROUGE (January 14, 2010) – Today, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is highlighting actions it will take in accordance with statewide efforts to streamline state functions and save taxpayer money.
"GOHSEP is continually looking for ways to be more efficient and effective in the execution of our mission to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any disaster," says GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper. "It is important to be innovative and work smarter with less as we continue to take part in the statewide streamlining effort."
The Commission on Streamlining Government approved recommendations that GOHSEP is currently working to implement. GOHSEP is working with Louisiana's congressional delegation to identify and utilize federal funding to establish additional shelter-capacity in-state for residents who can not evacuate and shelter during emergencies. GOHSEP is also exploring ways to consolidate commodities with other states and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the region. Sharing commodities such as meals ready to eat (MRE's) and bottled water could lessen the financial burden of each state.
In addition to the department's work with the Streamlining Commission, GOHSEP in December announced $875,206 in mid-year budget reductions effective immediately as part of the mid-year across-the-board state general fund reduction of 7.56 percent to all state agencies. Savings plans for the mid-year budget included eliminating unfilled vacancies in the department.
Included as part of the mid-year budget cuts and streamlining efforts, GOHSEP has partnered with the Louisiana State Police to utilize its state owned fuel depots and fleet maintenance garages instead of using privately owned facilities, saving $7,139. The department also partnered with the Louisiana National Guard to utilize storage trailers to reduce monthly operating costs in the amount of $2,400. GOHSEP will also reduce all travel, training, supplies and professional service contracts in the amount of $222,663 for the remainder of the fiscal year.