As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, state and local governments have risen to the occasion, providing critical public services when they are needed most. Now, calls for government modernization are growing louder. Lorna Stark, National Sector Leader for Government, anticipates what’s to come, from digital services to flexible workforces.
Video film date: 5/1/2020
As a leader of KPMG’s Government sector practice in the U.S., I believe the resiliency, reaction, commitment of our state and local governments over the past five weeks as nothing short of impressive.
You’ve taken the largest workforces in the country and moved them to remote environment. You’ve continued to educate tens of millions of children. And you’ve continued to provide the most important services to the public.
As we move into recovery and a new reality, whatever that new reality may hold for us, I believe that there will be an even greater imperative and demand from the public for the modernization of government. I think this will come true in two areas - both the delivery of government services, and the workforce that delivers them.
We’ve seen over the past several years continuing demand from the public to modernize government services, to make them digital, to make it easier to conduct business with government – from your computer, from your iPad, from your home. I think that we’ll see even more of that and even more demand for digitization of government services in the future.
In addition, we now see that even though five weeks ago we never thought it possible that the workforce of government can actually operate remotely. And so I think the workforce of government will continue to ask for that flexibility and I think the government will be able to accommodate a flexible workforce in the future.
In addition, we’ve seen so much analysis. Every day there’s more analysis of the impact to governments, government budgets and revenues. The hundred and fifty billion dollars from the Federal CARES act will help to cover costs of the pandemic itself, but the impacts to governments’ budgets and revenues will be extensive and long lasting.
So this modernization will not be easy in these times of economic hardship, but I believe that just as we’ve survived the last five weeks, we can certainly modernize government as we move into this new reality.
We don’t know when the next natural disaster will occur, but we do know that we can plan for those scenarios. We can develop mitigation strategies and we can project resources that might be needed. We also know that as this imperative for government to modernize becomes clearer, and out new reality comes into focus, we also know that government can be agile, government is connected, and government is trusted to provide public services.
At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We look forward to navigating this new reality with you.