Oklahoma Insurance Department Trims Budget by $675K in 2011

January 26, 2012

Oklahoma’s top insurance regulator says the department spent nearly $675,000 less in 2011 than it did in 2010.

For the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2011, the insurance department spent $11,160,855.28 compared to $11,833,228.01 in 2010, a total savings of $672,372.73 from year to year, according to Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak.

He attributed the savings to efficiency efforts initiated by his administration upon taking office in January 2011.

“I’ve pledged to run government more like a business, and in business you try to make every dollar count,” Doak said in an announcement released by the department. “Efficiency is the name of the game, because Oklahomans deserve fiscally responsible government.”

Reorganization in several divisions has resulted in a net reduction in personnel. A newer, better electronic licensing system has improved efficiency in that division and the insurance department is also using technology to deliver more information electronically to consumers and producers alike, reducing the amount and cost of printed materials.

Doak noted that controlling the cost of government is important even though only a small fraction of the insurance department’s budget comes from taxpayer funds appropriated by the Legislature. The bulk of OID funding is through premium taxes and various fees assessed to the insurance companies that do business in the state.

The insurance department plans to seek “non-appropriated” status in the upcoming 2012 legislative session. If the Legislature approves the change, in the future the OID would no longer receive any taxpayer funding appropriated by the Legislature. That would save Oklahoma tax payers around $2 million a year, Doak said.

Source: Oklahoma Department of Insurance

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