Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Wayward Inspector General Report

I have been a strong supporter of the concept of the IG form the beginning. Unlike others who saw it as a tool for rooting out corruption, I thought there was an opportunity for making systemic change to what is obviously a broken government filled with people who have never experienced anything else.

The first draft report on City Government "Review of 2009 Budget Process of The City of New Orleans" has been completed. You can read it here. I got my copy from Gambit and I thank them for making it availible. E tells me he got his elsewhere.

Which leads me to wonder why it took so long to get it.That is typically convoluted New Orleans story. As soon as I heard about I started looking on line for a copy. But I was dilatory, I had football to watch and work to do, so I did what most New Orleanians do. I asked a few people who should know. Not response until this morning.

Searching the Internet the first mention I found of it was a September 16 article in CityBusiness that article merely states that the report was delivered April 30 and made public today (September 16). That seems incorrect. As far as I can tell the report was delivered to the Mayor and Council October 2 and almost immediately every news outlet in town had a copy, but the report itsself never surfaced on those outlets web sites.

Bruce Eggler of the Ttmes Picayune picked it up October 4

WDSU did a story as well.

There may be others, I got tired of looking. What struck me as odd is that none of the new outlets posted the actual document. I even checked the Louisiana Justice Institue's Nola Public Records Site. It wasn't there yesterday, but it is now. They did have Leave Requests from the Inspector General's staff. Exactly what public interest that is I can't fathom.

I got a copy this morning. After quickly reading the report It pretty much says what you think it might. It's pretty much what we all knew all along.

There is no controls and lots of apparent duplication. We are spending money on administration not action.

The CAO controls lots of goodies for employees (Why is fleet management there and not in Public Works? Why is fleet managements main priority fuel availability?)

The parts about NOPD basically say they have plenty of money but no performance measures are in place. The same things Brian Denzer has been saying for years.

Oh and the Mayor makes up shit.

Why it took so long to get into public after floating around town for several days? I still can't figure that out.

One other thing is clear Len Odom oversaw much of this report and it is a solid piece of work. He deserves credit for that.


Clifton said...

I couldn't believe we spent that little amount of money on NORD and allocated 13 million to the Saenger Theatre. Nothing against the Saenger but damn.

My personal feeling is this report reflects what the IG should be doing and the potential it could have if everyone stops making it a political position. Do you think this should have been his first report?

mominem said...

I agree this is what he should be doing.

Whether this should have been his first report or not I'm not sure. This report surely took a long time and a lot of work to compile. The two other reports they produced (on take home cars and the crime camera programs) were important as well. I'm not sure the IG could have survived not issuing a report for this long and I don't see how it could have been done much before now.

I'd suggest we sell a lot of cars and give the money to NORD and throw in the money for the Sanger as well.

The Sanger was operated as a private for profit venture for a long time, I wouldn't object to using GO bonds to redevelop it but any direct subsidy should be off the table,

Why do we need the Sanger anyway when the City already owns the Mahalia Jackson Theater?.