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 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, September 23, 2014
Louisiana Cancer Research Center
1700 Tulane Avenue
Michael Hecht, President & CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Aaron Miscenich, President, New Orleans BioInnovation Center, and CAO, Louisiana Cancer Research Center
Please join us to hear Mr. Hecht and Mr. Miscenich discuss how to build on the economic development potential of the medical corridor.
Thanks to IBERIABANK the Breakfast Briefing is free to the public. Please let us know if you plan to attend by Thursday, September 18. To make a reservation via email click here or call (504) 525-4152, ext. 108.
Free public parking will be available in the rear parking garage.
Filed under: Breakfast Briefings
Friday, August 29, 2014
Please deliver the nomination form by hand, U.S. mail, e-mail or fax before noon on Monday, September 8, 2014, to:
BGR Excellence in Government Awards 2014
938 Lafayette St., Ste. 200
New Orleans, LA 70113
Fax: (504) 525-4153
Do you know creative, dedicated public employees who deserve greater recognition for their accomplishments? Do you know citizens who have worked to significantly improve local government? You can honor such people by nominating them for the BGR Excellence in Government Awards.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes sustained performance over a career in public service. Nominees with a minimum of 15 years of public employment are eligible. BGR will present up to two Lifetime Achievement Awards, with cash prizes of $1,000 each.
The Merit Award recognizes outstanding performance by public sector employees. BGR will present up to four Merit Awards, with cash prizes of $500 each.
The Innovation Award recognizes employees who have used innovative solutions to address pressing problems. BGR will present up to three Innovation Awards, with cash prizes of $1,000 each.
The Citizenship Award recognizes a private citizen who has worked to improve the quality of government. BGR will present one Citizenship Award.
Who is Eligible?
A nominee for the Innovation, Merit or Lifetime Achievement Award must:
• Be an individual public employee or group of public employees (classified, unclassified or
appointed). Elected officials are not eligible.
• Work full- or part-time, but not as a consultant or independent contractor.
• Work for a state or local governmental entity in the New Orleans metropolitan area.
(Employees of non-profit organizations, other than schools chartered by the state or a local school board, are not eligible.)
A nominee for the Citizenship Award must be a private citizen in the New Orleans metropolitan area who has not served in the public sector during the previous five years as an elected official, public employee, paid consultant or contractor. Individuals who have served on BGR’s Board of Directors within the past 10 years are not eligible.
In addition, for the Merit and Innovation Awards, the nominee’s accomplishment(s) must have occurred between January 1, 2013, and August 29, 2014. (This requirement does not apply to the Lifetime Achievement Award or the Citizenship Award.)
Filed under: Excellence in Government Awards
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.
May 15, 2014
In this release, BGR addresses a bill that would require the regional flood protection authorities to get the governor’s approval before hiring special counsel. The change would expose the flood protection authorities to political pressure and intervention from the governor.
Apr 22, 2014
In this release, BGR addresses a bill that would allow the governor to unilaterally remove members of regional flood protection authorities for vague reasons. The change would expose the flood protection authorities to political pressure and intervention from the governor.
Apr 15, 2014
In this release, BGR addresses a bill that would move the regional flood protection authorities into the executive branch. The change would expose the flood protection authorities to political pressure and intervention from the governor.
Apr 1, 2014
In this release, BGR raises concerns about a bill pending in the state Senate that would weaken the critical reforms of local levee boards put in place in response to the 2005 levee failures.