Good things happen when people work well together. Such was the case when the Department of Public Safety (DPS) decided to make a push for greater efficiency after a cash management audit by the State Treasury. As a result of our cooperative efforts, the Treasury and DPS have implemented new financial deposit procedures that will earn the state an additional $500,000 each year.

During the audit of Public Safety, the StateTreasury learned that money received by the Office of Motor Vehicle from license and registration fees, which are then transferred to DPS, could be deposited in a more cost-effective manner. My office found that DPS was averaging about 10 days between the time of collecting the fees and depositing them in the bank. By reducing the time between receipt of revenues and their deposit into interest earning accounts to 5 and one-half days, DPS officials have now ensured that the funds will earn additional income for the state.

The new cash management policy directs 50 Office ofMotor Vehicle locations throughout the state to immediately deposit funds to the state’s account at the Bank One branch where the Office of Motor Vehicle branch office is located. Bank One is the state’s central depository bank. The remaining 59 locations will deposit their funds in another local bank that, using a special software program, will immediately transfer the money into the state’s account at Bank One.

We estimate that Louisiana can earn more than $50,000 for each day that money collected by DPS is invested, which means that gaining five extra days means nearly $250,000 of new earnings each year. Also, since the professional couriers that DPS used to transport checks to Baton Rouge for deposit have been completely phased out as of June 30, 2000, the state will save an additional $246,000 per year.

The DPS has also discontinued microfilming checks to save another $25,000 annually. And by eliminating the duplication of having employees manually replicate reports that are generated by computer programs, DPS will free up more than 110,000 work hours that employees can spend on other projects.

We anticipate even greater savings to come as Public Safety officials work further reduce the deposit time for funds and improve Internet and phone procedures for registration and license renewals.

I would like to applaud the administrators and employees at the Department of Public Safety for their cooperative efforts which have significantly improved cash management flow and resulted in more efficient management of government services, thereby saving money for the people of Louisiana.