In The News › New Orleans government overhaul unveiled

Sep 13, 2011

Source: Fox 8

Filed under: City Government, Civil Service, Orleans Parish

New Orleans government overhaul unveiled

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Fox 8

New Orleans — A turnaround consultant dubbed the city of New Orleans the least competent he’s ever seen. Six months later, city leaders unveil a plan to make it better.

New Orleans Deputy Mayor and CAO Andy Kopplin laid out the city’s plans Tuesday morning on how the Landrieu administration plans to revamp City Hall. All this, after a specialist with the national consulting company “Public Strategies Group” called the New Orleans city government the most dysfunctional and corrupt in the country.

Earlier this year, the Public Strategies Group released its report, laying out a 10-point turnaround plan for New Orleans government. The report details a lengthy list of decades-old problems at City Hall.

“The guy who wrote the report said he’d never seen a city government that was more dysfunctional in 25 years of doing this work. So we inherited a lot of those problems, but are making great progress to address those,” said Deputy Mayor Kopplin.

Kopplin says those problems include senseless red tape, staffing shortages, and controversial civil service rules.

“They’ve developed all kinds of cumbersome rules about hiring, about firing, about disciplining, about promoting, that gum everything up, and slow everything down,” said Kopplin.

Kopplin says the city’s top managers have been assigned to working groups for all 10 of the consulting company’s recommendations, coming up with proposals to change the way things are run at city hall.

“Working on civil service reform is really a very critical element because personnel is such an important part of government, because those who work well deserve to be recognized and treated appropriately, paid appropriately,” said Janet Howard.

Janet Howard, president of the Bureau of Governmental Research, says the problems in city government are so widespread that prioritizing will be critical in attacking the issues. “You can’t expect a ship like New Orleans to turn around overnight,” said Howard.

Howard says this is the first time she’s ever seen a concerted effort to get things turned around in city government, specifically when it comes to civil service reform.

“There are systems that need to be addressed there. It’s not just one little matter here, and one little matter there. There is systemic reform that needs to be put in place,” said Howard.

Officials with the Landrieu administration say they will continue working to make city government accountable to people who live in New Orleans, cutting the red tape, and building a new foundation.

Kopplin also says the administration is working specifically on customer service, developing performance measures, and reforming the contracting process. According to the consulting company, it could take up to five years to implement the changes.

Watch the story here.

Sep 13, 2011

Source: Fox 8

Filed under: City Government, Civil Service, Orleans Parish

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