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Privatization commission to issue final report

The Commission on Privatization and Efficiency (COPE) will deliver its long-awaited final report to Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday, nearly eight months after it original deadline.

COPE was initially scheduled to complete the report by the end of December. But commissioners said it was delayed, at least in part, due to the November election and the replacement of several commission members.

Brewer created the commission by executive order in May 2010 and it released an initial report in September of last year that included relatively minor recommendations such as consolidating email systems between multiple state agencies, installing energy-saving software on state computers and pooling cell phone minutes from existing contracts. COPE spokesman Rick Medina said the second round of recommendations would “propose structural changes to position the state for long term stability.”

Medina said the Arizona Department of Gaming – where COPE Chairman Mark Brnovich serves as director and Medina serves as assistant director – is already implementing recommendations from the commission. The agency is moving out of its privately leased building and into the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s headquarters.

“We were paying rent to a private landlord, and now we’ll be paying that rent to the state,” Medina said.

The 11-member commission has been largely inactive since its last public meeting in November. COPE’s website still lists former Senate President Bob Burns, former House Speaker Kirk Adams, former Arizona Department of Administration interim director David Raber and former Government Information Technology Agency Director Chad Kirkpatrick as members.

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