Walker requires state agencies to improve efficiency

Governor Bill Walker is seeking to streamline state agencies responsible for financing economic development, housing, and renewable energy.

He signed an administrative order Thursday requiring the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Energy Authority, and Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to find opportunities to become more efficient or consolidate.

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The agencies have more than $3 billion in assets and employ 440 people.

Walker says the state hasn’t pre-determined what the outcome will be.

“This is a process that will be inclusive, not exclusive,” said Walker. “It’s not going to be a process where we come up with an edict on the third floor and say, ‘This is the way it’s going to be.’ We invite them – no one knows their agencies better than them. So they have been doing this a bit internally themselves. So we just have expanded that a bit.”

The housing finance corporation finances low-cost mortgages and provides public and special needs housing. The energy authority administers the Renewable Energy Grant Fund and provides assistance to rural communities. The development and export authority finances business development.

Commissioner of Administration Sheldon Fisher will lead the effort. Walker says he expects the recommendations will require new state laws next legislative session.

Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at akitchenman@alaskapublic.org.

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