OKLAHOMA CITY – Office of State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger, while assuming a new role as interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, will remain as secretary of finance in the cabinet of Gov. Mary Fallin.
"I am humbled by my appointment to the DHS position on a temporary basis and determined to make a contribution to improvements in the agency that the Commission of Human Services is charged with overseeing," Doerflinger said. "I feel fortunate that Carol McFarland will be able to step in and continue the progress we have made in government streamlining. She has done a great job as transition project manager since four other agencies were folded into the OSF by legislation enacted last year."
"Working together with the consolidated agencies, we achieved greater savings than the 15 percent mandate in the government modernization law and are on a course to achieve even greater savings in the future," Doerflinger continued.
Under the law, which took effect last August, the Department of Central Services, the Oklahoma Education and State Employees Group Insurance Board, the Employees Benefits Council and the Office of Personnel Management were consolidated into OSF.
"As part of my duties as secretary of finance, I will continue to be in contact with Carol and other key personnel of the consolidated OSF," Doerflinger said. "The fact that we have so many capable people at the OSF was a major factor in my decision to accept this interim position."
Doerflinger held the elective position of Tulsa city auditor when he was appointed to the dual role of OSF director and finance secretary in January of last year.
He said as finance secretary, he would continue to stay abreast of revenue issues and economic conditions and advise Governor Fallin in those areas.
"We just had a drop in unemployment as we continue to outperform other states in recovering from the national recession," Doerflinger said. "The governor is striving hard to advance the state economically and I want to do all I can to help.
I want to stress that this is a temporary appointment and I look forward to my return to the OSF after a permanent director is selected at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services."
Doerflinger informed OSF employees of the developments in an e-mail Wednesday afternoon.
"I won't be gone long and am anxious to continue the work we've started," the finance secretary wrote. "Based on the (legislative) session so far, it looks like there are other exciting opportunities ahead. Carry on in my absence and as the saying goes, 'I'll be back.'"
McFarland echoed Doerflinger's comments about the quality of staff at the OSF and said her challenge is "to maintain the momentum we have going in creating a "FAST" agency -- flatter, agile, streamlined and technology-enabled."
"I will be relying on the experts we have in place in such areas as the budget, state revenue and technology as we move forward and intend to keep Secretary Doerflinger apprised of our progress," she said.
McFarland is a certified public accountant and certified governmental financial manager. She came to the OSF from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, where she was performance and reporting manager.