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OKLAHOMA CITY — The Office of Management and Enterprise Services has approved premium rates for health, dental, life, disability and vision insurance plans to be offered to state, education and many local government employees, retirees and dependents for 2018.

The rates were recommended by the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board and approved by OMES Director Preston L. Doerflinger.

The rates presented at Thursday’s board meeting included increases of roughly 3.5 to 8 percent for HealthChoice health plans. HealthChoice is the state’s self-funded insurance plan administered by OMES.

Rainy Day borrowing repaid; money to be returned to agencies after cuts

OKLAHOMA CITY — With General Revenue Fund collections in June beating the monthly estimate, Fiscal Year 2017 GRF receipts fell $175.9 million, or 3.4 percent, short of the yearly estimate.

To close out the fiscal year, the remaining balance of $229 million due to various funds — including the Rainy Day Fund — was repaid as state law requires after June collections finished more than 3 percent above the monthly estimate. 

In February, Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger told the state Board of Equalization that he had to borrow from different funds in order to make monthly agency allotments for general revenue appropriations. 

Strategies employed by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to unify the state’s information technology under one umbrella are highlighted in an important new book on organizational leadership, One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams, by bestselling author Chris Fussell.

One Mission is a follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World authored by Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Fussell. In Team of Teams, McChrystal and Fussell articulate concepts used by the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and Afghanistan to create a more adaptable and effective team.

One Mission presents OMES Information Services as a case study in how to successfully apply these concepts to one of the most complex projects in state history: the State of Oklahoma’s unification of IT assets.

OMES-managed program will save $6 million in premiums

OKLAHOMA CITY — At a time when state agency budgets are shrinking, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services has produced savings of about $6 million for state agencies in the upcoming fiscal year through the self-insurance program managed by OMES Risk Management.

OMES anticipates most agencies will see reductions in premiums ranging from 6 percent to over 50 percent during what will be the third year for the Consolidated Workers’ Compensation Program.

The savings for agencies comes from reducing costs in workers’ compensation insurance premiums through the OMES program. The state will see an overall 22 percent reduction in its total workers’ compensation cost, a decrease from $27,839,085 in FY 2017 to $21,744,649 in FY 2018.

Head of OMES Information Services speaks on federal cybersecurity regulations 

WASHINGTON — Duplicative and inconsistent federal regulations can hinder efforts to unify states’ information technology, save taxpayers’ money and secure citizens’ data, Oklahoma Chief Information Officer Bo Reese testified today before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“Over the past five years, (OMES has) reduced these redundancies, made large strides to unifying technology, and completed consolidation of 76 of the 78 mandated  state agencies and more than 30 voluntary agencies,” said Reese, who leads the Information Services division for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

Money returned to Rainy Day Fund for education ad valorem reimbursement

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund collections in May missed the official monthly estimate by 1.5 percent, providing enough revenue to cover current FY17 allocation needs and avoiding further cuts to agencies as borrowed funds are returned.   

 “While May’s collections were still below the monthly estimate, total collections are now on a more stable footing and, with only one month left in FY 2017, we are clearly on schedule to repay the money we were forced to borrow this fiscal year without further cuts,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.

OKLAHOMA CITY — As a ransomware cyberattack created worldwide chaos, State of Oklahoma agencies with their information technology unified under the IT umbrella managed by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services were protected and reported no disruptions in service.

Unification allows agencies to have the updated resources of Oklahoma CyberCommand that quickly detect and respond to ransomware attacks.

“CyberCommand has a specific set of technical and response capabilities to identify and respond to cyberattacks,” said Oklahoma CyberCommand Director Mark Gower. “During the latest global incident, we had zero reports of encryptions and no indicators of a compromised system due to this ransomware.”

Uncertainty remains for this and next fiscal year

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund collections in April missed the official monthly estimate by 12.9 percent and were 4.4 percent below the estimate for the fiscal year, leading to more uncertainty regarding deeper reductions to state agencies as the Legislature stalls with budget proposals.

“The uncertainty that one-time revenue sources have left us with make it difficult to build a budget,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Strong storms toppled trees and knocked out power at the Capitol this weekend but didn’t shut down the security of and access to important data housed with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services at its Information Services Data Center.

Thanks to a plan that includes using up to four 1,450-horsepower generators cranking out 1,000 kilowatts of power, the power remained on at the Data Center and the data flowing through servers connected with more than 100 state agencies remained safe and accessible.

“This weekend’s storms demonstrated another success of IT consolidation, keeping the state online during a power outage,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger, who serves as director of OMES.

Borrowing necessary to make monthly agency allocations

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in March missed the official monthly estimate by 9 percent and are 2.8 percent below the estimate for the first three quarters of the fiscal year. Total GRF collections of $352.1 million in March will be short of the amount needed to make agency monthly allocations. About $31 million will need to be borrowed from other funds so agencies will receive their allotments.

“We’ve been forced to do this several times this fiscal year to avoid deeper cuts to agencies and keep government operating,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. “We will be looking to April collections and other upcoming months to make up the difference and reconcile the borrowed funds as we are statutorily and constitutionally required to do.”

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