Bureau of Governmental Research
Bureau of Governmental Research is a private, non-profit, independent research organization dedicated to informed public policy making and the effective use of public resources for the improvement of government in the New Orleans metropolitan area.
BGR Leader to Depart After 14 Years
Apr 16, 2015
The Bureau of Governmental Research announced today that Janet Howard, BGR’s President & CEO, is resigning. To facilitate a smooth transition, she has agreed to stay with BGR until the organization has hired a new President & CEO.
Apr 15, 2015
On Wednesday, April 15, newly appointed Orleans Parish School Board Superintendent Henderson Lewis, Jr. addressed a BGR Breakfast Briefing at IBERIABANK. See the full video and a short clip here.
Dec 16, 2014
On Thursday, December 11, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan took the podium at BGR’s 2014 Annual Luncheon.
BGR Announces New Directors
Dec 15, 2014
The Bureau of Governmental Research elected directors and officers at the organization’s annual members’ meeting December 11.
BGR Honors Recipients of 2014 Excellence in Government Awards
Oct 22, 2014
The BGR Excellence in Government Awards 2014 were presented during a luncheon ceremony October 21 at the Westin Canal Place. The awards program was sponsored by the Canal Barge Co., Inc. Established in 1994, the awards program recognizes government employees and citizens for outstanding performance and creative problem-solving.
BGR Wins National Awards for Research
Aug 12, 2014
BGR won three awards from the Governmental Research Association (GRA) at its national conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Online at GiveNOLA.org
Hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA Day is the community’s one-day, online giving event to inspire people to give generously to the nonprofit organizations that make our region a stronger and more thriving community for all.
Irma Thomas explains:
Every dollar donated from midnight to midnight on Tuesday, May 5 will be increased with additional “lagniappe” dollars provided by GNOF. Each hour that BGR receives a donation of $10 or more, the organization is eligible for the Rock-Around-the-Clock prize for $1,000 from that hour.
Please visit, bookmark and share BGR’s GiveNOLA page. To multiply the impact of your GiveNOLA gift, go through our GiveNOLA page, not the BGR store, to participate. Thank you for spreading the word about this exciting way to support BGR’s work promoting effective, accountable local government.
Filed under: Community Event
Mar 26, 2015
This release discusses the Louisiana Supreme Court’s refusal to hear BGR’s lawsuit seeking public access to the records and meetings of a committee charged with re-assessing the number of judges needed at each of the state’s courts.
Nov 6, 2014
Oct 13, 2014
In A Trojan Horse in the Draft CZO: Article 5 Puts Years of Planning at Risk, BGR describes the article on Planned Development Standards in the draft comprehensive zoning ordinance and the problems it poses.
Sep 25, 2014
Sep 2, 2014
In this letter to the City Planning Commission, BGR focuses on Article 5 of the draft comprehensive zoning ordinance, which would allow a wide array of exceptions to the zoning rules under vague circumstances in various neighborhoods across the city. BGR argues that, as written, Article 5 creates an Achilles’ heel in the draft CZO and potentially opens the way for a return to the let’s-make-a-deal approach that has plagued land use decision making in years past.
Aug 26, 2014
Following the city’s announcement that it will begin a fourth Request for Proposals process to redevelop the former World Trade Center building, BGR calls for a new approach: selling the building to the highest bidder.
Jul 25, 2014
On July 22, 2014, hundreds of citizens and a number of government officials turned up at a citywide meeting hosted by the Fix My Streets campaign and the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association to discuss options for addressing New Orleans’ bumpy street network. The dialogue centered on the need to determine the condition of city streets, to devise a rational approach to prioritizing and paying for roadwork, and to uncover new funding sources to meet the enormous costs. A key point in the discussion was the need to bring more properties into the tax base.
BGR has in recent years grappled extensively with the issues surrounding the city’s failing streets and other infrastructure needs. To inform the current dialogue on these issues, we have created this online portal to provide the public with easier access to several key BGR reports.
The first, Street Smarts: Maintaining and Managing New Orleans’ Road Network (2008), discussed the weaknesses in the city’s management of its street network and described what a good pavement management system looks like. It also explored several funding options.
The second report, The Price of Civilization: Addressing Infrastructure Needs in New Orleans (2010) arose out of a concern that the city’s infrastructure needs were receiving inadequate attention. It described the city’s capital needs and the factors that affect the local capacity to meet those needs.
A third report focused on a particular exemption that is ripe for reform. The Nonprofit Margin: Addressing the Costs of the Nonprofit Exemption in New Orleans (2011) estimated the impact of the nonprofit exemption and discusses the range of options for mitigating that impact.
Also included here is a related release focusing on the city’s tax base.
As BGR noted in The Price of Civilization, the infrastructure funding gap underscores the importance of carefully marshaling and spending what was available. It is essential to re-evaluate and strategically deploy limited available resources and to develop a coherent, prioritized citywide plan for addressing unmet infrastructure needs. It is also essential to find ways to bring sanity to exemptions and broaden the pool of contributors to the revenue base in Orleans Parish. Going after the same group of taxpayers again and again will not solve our problems.
BGR is currently working on a report that will take a comprehensive look at the revenue structure in Orleans Parish. It will examine how much revenue various sources generate, how the revenue is allocated, and the extent to which the revenue is dedicated to specific purposes. The report will also explore potential new revenue sources.
Jun 10, 2014
In an open letter to the Jefferson Parish Council, BGR comments on a proposed ordinance that would change the parish’s process for awarding nonprofessional service contracts.
May 28, 2014
In this open letter to the Louisiana State Legislature, BGR expresses concern that SB 469 might permanently deprive the residents of coastal Louisiana of significant claims against the oil and gas industry and others. It provides a list of questions in need of answers before the House of Representatives votes on the bill.