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FITSNews – June 12, 2008 – We’ll be the first to admit to a healthy dose of skepticism when Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer was given control over the South Carolina Office on Aging.

Would he actually turn the organization into an effective voice for our state’s burgeoning senior population? Or would he simply use the office as a tool to expand his political base?

While it initially appeared that the latter would be the case, that all changed when Bauer tapped West Columbia businessman and international philanthropist Curtis Loftis to run the agency in March of last year. In just fifteen months, Loftis has literally transformed the Office on Aging into one of the most efficient, results-minded government entities anywhere in the country.

Loftis has an exclusive interview on SC Hotline this morning detailing the dramatic turnaround, which consists largely of implementing private sector streamlining techniques and an outcome-based approach to government that has expanded productivity while cutting administrative costs by more than 20%. Frankly, we think his approach is emblematic of the way every state agency ought to run – getting rid of dead weight and unnecessary bureaucracy and targeting tax dollars toward legitimate needs.

Given the fact that our state’s senior population is expected to double over the next fifteen to twenty years, Loftis’ remarkable efforts were sorely needed. And while his success has certainly created a political benefit for Bauer, it’s hard to argue that it’s not deserved.

Now if we can just get other state agencies to start putting the needs of the people they are supposed to serve ahead of their own …