Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Government That Doesn't Work

Thanks to bayoustjohndavid for pointing this out.

In the recent Times Picayune article on the Mayors proposed budget These two paragraphs struck me as uniquely Naginesque,

Maintaining that "city government is not built for speed," Nagin said he will seek to expedite things with the appointment of a public infrastructure program manager to recruit and oversee an army of architects, engineers and contractors.

To monitor the ambitious brick-and-mortar program, Nagin plans to establish a "project delivery unit" inside City Hall. The unit will serve a dual purpose: to help project managers navigate the city's bureaucratic maze and to guard against waste.

In two paragraphs Nagin points out that City government is inefficient at best and unable to manage the program he proposes, so in order to overcome the complex inefficient government we have, he proposes more government, more complexity and more "offices".

If I remember correctly, there is a Capital Projects office within the CAO's office that is currently responsible for administering capital projects, although some projects are administered in other departments. It seems like duplication of an existing function to me.

How about fixing the problem and creating a city government "built for speed". A government with a light touch to guide rather than railroad. A government responsive to the needs of the people and not the needs of the politicians.

I seem to recall Al Gore spent a lot of his time as Vice President reinventing government. He said;
We need governments that are as flexible, as dynamic, as focussed on serving their customers as the best private companies around the world. We need to adopt the very best management techniques from the private sector to create governments that are fully prepared for the Information Age.
We badly need to reinvent government in New Orleans in order to deliver services and information to people trying to rebuild their lives and their futures.

I wouldn't care so much if we were reorganizing and redeploying existing employees, possibly adding some new specialists. I suspect what we'll get is a "professional" program manager with close ties to the usual suspects.


jeffrey said...

Worse than mere duplication of government functions, this is de-facto outsourcing of these functions which results in... as you seem to be pointing out... less accountability and ultimately more opportunity for mischief.

mominem said...

It's not clear to me how Nagin proposes to implement this proposal, but I'd bet there will be a large "Professional Services Contract" and it won't be given to a company known more for its excellence than it political connections.

E said...

If municipal government isn't built for speed, and federal government isn't built for speed...

...I'll just take the bus

Oh RTA isn't built for speed either, damn.

The long, long road home,New Orleans said...

Yes, lets solve a problem by adding to the bureaucracy that is already hampered by its own weight. I absolutely agree with you on this one.

And where will the fund come from. Nagin short changed the new investigator department because he claims there is no money.