|By PR Newswire||
|January 8, 2014 05:07 PM EST||
Results Driven by Payroll Reduction and Department of Education Measures
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Carlos D. Rivas, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget of Puerto Rico (OMB), reported that Fiscal Year 2014 expenses for July through November were under budget, driven by a 6 percent decline in year-over-year payroll chargeable to the General Fund of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the implementation of a fiscal improvement program at the Department of Education.
"The favorable expenditure results for the first five months of the fiscal year are a testament to this Administration's commitment to fiscal responsibility and discipline," stated Rivas. "Together with the Puerto Rico Treasury's on-target revenue results, the Commonwealth's Fiscal Year 2014 budget has performed as expected on both sides of the ledger."
Payroll expenses chargeable attributed to the Commonwealth's General Fund for the months of July 2013 through November 2013 totaled $962 million, which is $65 million (or 6 percent) below the same period for the prior fiscal year. The prior year expense was adjusted downwards by $72 million for this comparison, since the employee Christmas bonuses were paid in November last fiscal year and were paid in December in the current year. OMB estimates that there were 8,300 net fewer employees in Executive Branch agencies directly chargeable to the General Fund in November 2013 as compared to November 2012, with 94 percent of the attrition occurring after the current Administration began in January 2013.
"The substantial decline in year-over-year General Fund headcount has been achieved without resorting to layoffs or reducing essential services to the population," noted Rivas. "The central agencies of the Commonwealth have demonstrated remarkable fiscal discipline to date in recruiting replacement employees."
With respect to the approved fiscal year 2014 budget, payroll for the first five months was $19 million (or 2 percent) under budget. The total year-over-year payroll decline does not flow down to a payroll surplus for the period because the current budget had already built in some of the projected attrition.
"The majority of the increase in the approved General Fund budget corresponds to financial obligations that we already had, such as incremental debt service and retirement contributions, which could not be further postponed," Rivas said. "The General Fund budget increase did not imply a higher net operating cost for the Commonwealth agencies; quite the contrary, it was built upon and required the discipline that we have been exercising over the past year."
Driven by payroll figures, OMB estimates that from July to November, overall General Fund expenses against Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations were lower than the approved balances in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget by approximately $135 million. "We expect this surplus to narrow very substantially as we continue to issue liquidation payments for retired employees, and register further back-loaded expenses," said Rivas. "However, we do not presently expect the surplus to fully disappear." This expectation considers a successful implementation of the fiscal management program at the Department of Education; the availability of carryforward and non-General Fund appropriation balances, particularly at the Department of Education; the utilization of contingency accounts in the General Fund budget, including all or part of the $130 million set-aside for sick and vacation leave liquidation; and continued strict hiring oversight by OMB.
Rivas also highlighted two strategic initiatives on the expense side that are yielding results. First, the Department of Education, the largest and traditionally the most challenging agency from a budgetary perspective, has embarked on an important fiscal management program, including well-publicized adjustments in security, non-essential services and contracting rates, which OMB expects to materially neutralize any expected overdraft at the agency. The Department continues to develop further fiscal opportunities in the federal funds utilization, transportation, and real estate areas.
In addition, the Administration has undertaken important steps to balance the finances of subsidized public corporations. In December 2013, the Governor presented a legislative measure to merge the Maritime Transit Authority, the Metropolitan Bus Authority and the Integrated Transit Authority (Urban Train) into a single entity with improved cost efficiencies, better governance, and dedicated transitional and recurring funding. In July 2013, the Administration implemented in July a new Third Party Administration model across the island whose cost efficiencies, combined with other cost-cutting and revenue measures, have lowered the forecasted deficit of the Public Health Insurance Administration to less than 2.5 percent of revenues. The Governor also signed an Executive Order to re-engineer the Medical Services Administration, which provides direct support and shared services to certain public health institutions.
While these public corporations have the option to fund their expenses with substantial fee income or with their own balance sheet, continued success of these initiatives reduces the need for potential large-scale deficit financings, which have been covered in the past with long term General Fund appropriation debt.
"Puerto Rico continues to pursue, in a determined fashion, our goal to move all our public entities, whether General Fund agencies or public corporations, away from deficits and towards fiscal sustainability," said Rivas.
The payroll numbers exclude teachers chargeable to the Schoolwide Department of Education mixed state-federal funding pool, which is not classified as payroll within the accounting system (but rather as a non-distributed appropriation), and whose salaries represent close to 10.5 percent of the General Fund budget. In addition, the payroll numbers exclude the payroll of autonomous non-Executive Branch entities such as the University of Puerto Rico, the Judicial Branch, and other smaller agencies, who receive fixed monthly wired payments, totaling approximately $1,410 million, or 14.4 percent of the General Fund budget. The headcount figures do include all full time Executive Branch employees chargeable to the General Fund, including all Department of Education employees. When estimating mid-year expenditure performance, OMB adjusts for multiple timing factors, including the impact of fiscal year contracting cycle on service expenses and analogous concepts; the availability and utilization pattern of discretionary reserve or contingency accounts; utilization of carryforward special appropriation balances; and ramp-up periods for programmatic appropriations.
SOURCE Office of Management and Budget of Puerto Rico
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Jan. 26, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 2,337
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your o...
Jan. 26, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 2,677
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
Jan. 26, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 2,499
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...
Jan. 26, 2015 12:45 AM EST Reads: 3,440
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 26, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 2,130
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 26, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 2,169
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that ...
Jan. 25, 2015 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,762
“This win means a great deal to us because it is decided by the readers – the people who understand how use of our technology enables new insights that drive the business,” said Matt Davies, senior director, EMEA marketing, Splunk. “Splunk Enterprise enables organizations to improve service levels, reduce operations costs, mitigate security risks, enhance DevOps collaboration, create new product and service offerings and obtain deeper insight into customer behavior. Being named Best Business App...
Jan. 25, 2015 10:30 PM EST Reads: 1,753
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
Jan. 25, 2015 07:45 PM EST Reads: 2,306
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
Jan. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,224
Datapipe has acquired GoGrid, a provider of multi-cloud solutions for Big Data deployments. GoGrid’s proprietary orchestration and automation technologies provide 1-Button deployment for Big Data solutions that speed creation and results of new cloud projects. “GoGrid has made it easy for companies to stand up Big Data solutions quickly,” said Robb Allen, CEO, Datapipe. “Datapipe customers will achieve significant value from the speed at which we can now create new Big Data projects in the clou...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,570
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:15 PM EST Reads: 3,789
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,714
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,411
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,990