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BGR In The News

New Orleans Council passes pension changes affecting only new hires

Dec 5, 2017

The city spends about $105.5 million paying for employees’ defined benefits under all pension plans, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

If the candidates aren’t inspiring voters, maybe voters should inspire the candidates

Sep 17, 2017

Voters should also check out BGR’s “Questions For A New Mayor” report at The report is a compilation of candidates’ responses to 18 questions developed by BGR. The topics covered include ways to address police manpower; retooling city employee pensions; fixing and maintaining street and drainage infrastructure, and more.

Source: Gambit

BGR’s New Orleans mayoral candidate survey covers hot topics

Sep 14, 2017

Everybody is looking for answers from the crowded field of candidates for the New Orleans mayoral race. The nonprofit watchdog Bureau for Governmental Research took its crack at it, calling on each of the 18 candidates to answer questions based on a series of detailed public policy reports its researchers published in recent years.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Our Views: A reform by Wildes

Dec 29, 2014

Nevertheless, civil service reform is vital to that process, and it has been the subject of numerous reports over many years from the Bureau of Governmental Research and other experts.

Source: The Advocate

Letter: Loyola president deserving of praise for service to N.O.

Dec 29, 2014

BGR called for reform in 2004 and the Business Council did so in 2010; the Civil Service Department staff even made a proposal similar to the Great Place to Work in 2010 and the Forward New Orleans Coalition secured a pledge to reform our civil service system from all mayoral candidates and each of the city council members elected in 2014.

Source: The Advocate

Critics blast mayor’s plan to overhaul civil service

Apr 21, 2014

The Bureau of Governmental Research and the New Orleans Business Council are among the groups that are supportive of the mayor’s proposals.

Source: FOX 8

New Orleans city employees rise up in defiance of Landrieu’s Civil Service package

Apr 21, 2014

Representatives from the Business Council of New Orleans, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, the Bureau of Governmental research and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans all endorsed the new rules Monday, calling them necessary to create a modern and flexible civil service.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Landrieu team takes 2nd stab at civil service reform

Apr 6, 2014

The proposed revisions are in sync with the types of changes the Bureau of Governmental Research has advocated for more than a decade. Janet Howard, president and CEO of the watchdog group, said that while BGR has not done a full analysis of the mayor’s proposal, it includes many of her group’s recommendations, including giving more flexibility in hiring and management to individual city departments.

Source: The Advocate

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

Apr 3, 2014

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.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish president should not have outside income, some Charter board members say

Feb 18, 2013

City IT director tries to end reliance on contracts

Sep 28, 2011

Janet Howard, president and CEO of the Bureau of Governmental Research, said the city’s “calcified and byzantine” civil service system has hampered the effort further.

Source: CityBusiness

End the bumping rule at New Orleans City Hall: An editorial

Sep 23, 2011

The Bureau of Governmental Research, which supports ending the bump rule, has said the “organizational unit” language is too broad, and that’s a valid concern that the city needs to address. But eliminating the bump rule makes sense. The policy can trigger chain reactions that force good employees out while requiring the city to unnecessarily retrain workers.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Civil Disagreements

Sep 20, 2011

New Orleans Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin made an appearance in the D.H. Holmes Ballroom at the Chateau Bourbon Hotel on Monday, Sept. 12, to brief members of the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) of the Landrieu Administration’s progress in reforming city government.

Source: Gambit

New Orleans government overhaul unveiled

Sep 13, 2011

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.

Source: Fox 8

New Orleans City Council appoints Joseph Clark to Civil Service Commission

Aug 18, 2011

Fielkow voted for Hagmann at a committee meeting last week, but he said he had changed his mind because of concerns raised by Bureau of Governmental Research President Janet Howard about a conflict of interest, “real or perceived,” between Hagmann’s roles as a Civil Service Department employee and a member of the commission that oversees the department’s work and chooses its director.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Workers’ pick for panel opposed; BGR urges council to nix nomination

Aug 18, 2011

A council committee last week recommended that the full body confirm the candidate who led a recent vote by city workers, but the Bureau of Governmental Research on Tuesday urged the council not to approve that candidate, Robert Hagmann, because he works in the Civil Service Department.

Source: The Times-Picayune

A Question of Will

Jul 26, 2011

…the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) issued a report calling for a systematic overhaul of civil service. BGR, which can hardly be accused of supporting a spoils system, pointed out that the local civil service system, which functions as a central (and very powerful) human resources office for all city departments, is “archaic, overly centralized and inefficient.” Many who know the ins and outs of City Hall say that’s being kind.

Source: Gambit

Signatures gathered to try to prevent Loyola president from joining Civil Service Commission

Jul 19, 2011

Wildes said he is aware of several reports, including one by the watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research, that call for a major overhaul of civil service policies. “My (concern) is not about any particular rule, but it’s more about how the whole damned thing is functioning and how do we improve it,” he said.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Opinion: Mayor, city workers on shaky footing

Jul 6, 2011

City government should be no different, but the problem New Orleans faces is that its system for evaluating civil service employees is nothing short of a joke. According to the Bureau of Governmental Research, an evaluation of 4,315 city employees last year showed that just 31 were in need of improvement.

Source: CityBusiness

‘Unsatisfactory’ New Orleans employee isn’t alone: Jarvis DeBerry

Jul 3, 2011

According to a letter written to the Civil Service Commission by Janet Howard, president of the Bureau of Governmental Research, of the 4,315 city employees evaluated in 2010, only 31 were found to need improvement.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Bumpy road for rule change: An editorial

Jul 2, 2011

But the argument falls apart in the face of how city employees are rated on performance. As Janet Howard of the Bureau of Governmental Research pointed out in a letter, only 31 of the city’s 4,315 employees were rated as needing improvement in 2010. Even more incredibly, only one employee in the entire municipal workforce was labeled unsatisfactory.

Source: The Times-Picayune

City Workers Blast Landrieu’s “Bumping” Proposal

Jun 30, 2011

Still, the Bureau of Government Research said the bumping rule is problematic.

Source: Fox 8

Group urges change in Orleans civil service

Jun 30, 2011

The nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans this week said the practice can set of a chain-reaction of job changes that cause qualified workers to be replaced with less-qualified people from other departments. The BGR backs the idea of limiting bumping, although it has suggested some changes to the Landrieu administration’s proposed rule revisions.

Source: The Associated Press / CityBusiness

Policy that lets laid-off New Orleans workers ‘bump’ those with less seniority up for debate today

Jun 30, 2011

The president of the Bureau of Governmental Research, a watchdog group that in 2004 published a report that found that “bumping can wreak havoc with the city’s work force,” sent a letter Tuesday to the commission stating its strong support for the administration’s proposal.

Source: The Times-Picayune

End policy that lets New Orleans laid-off workers “bump” other city employees: An editorial

Jun 4, 2011

It’s no wonder that the Bureau of Governmental Research, which has long advocated for eliminating this policy, has called it “an incredibly messy process that wreaks havoc with the work force.” A consultant this year also cited the policy as a reason why City Hall is dysfunctional.

Source: The Times-Picayune

City Hall pushes to end policy where laid-off workers can ‘bump’ others with less seniority

May 31, 2011

Elimination of the bumping rule has been urged for years by the watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research, which in a 2004 report called bumping “an incredibly messy process that wreaks havoc with the work force.”

Source: The Times-Picayune

Serpas allowed to hand-pick top NOPD commanders

Mar 1, 2011

“The idea of having flexibility in who you choose, in terms of being able to pick from more than one civil service rank, is something that we think is important,” said Janet Howard, president of watchdog group, the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: WWLTV

‘Colonel’ position ruling deferred

Feb 22, 2011

Janet Howard, of the Bureau of Governmental Research, questioned the need for provisional appointments. Howard noted, however, that she supported the chief’s push to choose his top managers and give them more responsibility. The civil service system is broken and needs reform, Howard added.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Amendment 2: Homeland Security

Sep 27, 2010

The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), a New Orleans-based reform group, opposes Amendment 2 — but the Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) supports it. The groups agree that GOHSEP employees are not typical state workers. They are on 24-hour call and must move about the state on a moment’s notice. The groups just disagree as to how to treat those employees with regard to civil service protection.

Source: Gambit

System official receives award

Jul 2, 2009

The Armstrong Ballroom at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel was the site of the Bureau of Governmental Research 2009 Excellence in Government Awards, an annual event that rewards local government employees for outstanding performance and creative problem-solving and for their effective use of public resources.

Source: The Times-Picayune

JEFFERSON POLITICS: Watchdog hands out praise to officials

Jun 27, 2009

Tim Whitmer, chief administrative officer for Jefferson Parish government since 1998, received a lifetime achievement award from the Bureau of Governmental Research last week.

Source: The Times-Picayune

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