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Agencies Would Share Services Under House Bill (Mar 03, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has passed legislation that would consolidate the administrative functions of several state agencies.

The measure by Republican House Speaker Kris Steele of Shawnee was approved Thursday on a 65-28 vote.

It calls for consolidating the shared services of five agencies, including the Department of Central Services and the Office of Personnel Management, into the Office of State Finance by the end of the year.

Steele say lawmakers must reevaluate how state government delivers services to taxpayers because of a budget hole next year that negotiators say could be as high as $500 million. Steele says consolidating the agencies' shared services could save as much as $10 million a year.

Steele says the goal is to promote cooperation among state agencies, end inefficiency and save taxpayer dollars.

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