In The News › Mayor Landrieu’s civil service rule changes track BGR’s from a decade earlier

Mayor Landrieu’s civil service rule changes track BGR’s from a decade earlier

By Richard Rainey | The Times-Picayune

April 03, 2014

For nearly 10 years, one government watchdog group in New Orleans has railed against aspects the city’s civil service system, describing it as an “inefficient, inflexible system” in desperate need of reform.

With Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s latest proposal to overhaul civil service rules, the Bureau of Governmental Research had some room for hope, Executive Director Janet Howard said.

Landrieu unveiled his plan Thursday (April 3), which Howard said she planned to comb through.

“What I’ve heard is very promising,” she said, “but we have to go do our review.”

BGR first waded into the debate in 2004. In a published report, the group found that the civil service system had merits as an independent protection from political influence, but that it had grown “anemic.” Howard said BGR’s stance has not changed much with the passage of time.

The report recommended broadening the classifications and pay scales for employees and managers; allow more discretion in awarding pay raises; and that the “rule of three,” which requires only the top three tested applicants be considered for a post, be used in very limited circumstances. It also called for better training and elevating the importance of job performance over longevity. All of which are addressed in Landrieu’s plan in some fashion.

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