Governor Encourages State Employees to “Ask Why”

Posted: January 10, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Gov. Mark Warner is urging state workers to participate in the new “Ask Why” employee suggestion program, to ask why their agency does things the way it does–or to suggest a better, more efficient way to do them. The governor endorsed the plan in a recent forum with state employees at Old Dominion University.

“If you see something on the job that just doesn’t make sense, I challenge you to ask why it’s being done,” said Warner. “At the beginning of this administration, I removed the ‘gag order’ that prevented state employees from speaking out about state government in the past. Please know that your ideas will be seriously considered and that we will act on all that are feasible.”

The Virginia Government Employees Association (VGEA) initiated the “Ask Why” campaign after the governor asked the association to help gather employee suggestions on how to help cut costs in light of the current state budget crisis.

Employees with ideas on how to deliver state services move easily, quickly, or cheaply can fill out a suggestion form and forward it to the VGEA or the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) for consideration.

While not affiliated with the state’s Employee Suggestion Program (ESP), ideas submitted to the “Ask Why” campaign could qualify for the ESP program, which offers cash rewards and paid leave to state employees whose suggestions result in cost savings.

“Every state agency has strengths and weaknesses in its processes, and who is in a better position to know those strengths and weaknesses than state employees?” said Joan Dent, VGEA president.

For more information, contact the VGEA at (804) 355-3120 or the DHRM at (804) 371-7401. Ideas also may be e-mailed to

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