Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mayor Franklin Continues Efforts to Reform Government

In July of 2002, Bain & Company gave the City of Atlanta a “Turnaround Plan” which provided a detailed set of recommendations for “re-inventing” Atlanta’s local government. Bain made 29 recommendations in four strategic areas of focus: Financial Stability, Public Safety, Strong Infrastructure, and Efficiency and Effectiveness. Each of those 29 recommendations contained multiple projects and initiatives. One of the 29 recommendations in public safety was “Atlanta Police Department Turnaround”, which included the department becoming accredited (completed), the establishment of a Complaint Room (completed), upgrading technology (completed), implementing a one call system (completed), publishing crime data on the Internet (completed), redesigning our beats (completed), improving recruitment, retention and training (completed), creating the Atlanta Police Foundation (completed), developing a Community Policing strategy (completed). These are just some of the recommendations completed under this administration. Within the 29 categories of recommendations there are literally hundreds of projects and initiatives that were recommended.

The fact is the City has aggressively implemented the Turnaround Plan and has implemented the vast majority of Bain’s recommendations. That is a major achievement for any organization. It is estimated that of the hundreds of individual projects within the 29 recommendation categories, 95%+ of them have been fully implemented. There were instances where the City did not move forward on some recommendation because of either a lack of City Council support (for example, the City Council rejected a request to fund a 311 call center) or a determination that the recommendation did not make good business sense after deeper examination (for example, we hired CH2MHill to advise us on the outsourcing of residential garbage collection and disposal and they recommended against moving forward based on their detailed business analysis of that option).

It is important to note that the Bain Turnaround Plan contains many but not all of the reform initiatives implemented under the Franklin Administration. There is also the consolidation of the courts system (reducing court operations costs from $30.1 million to $11.6 million while improving service quality), the construction of three desperately needed public safety facilities (a headquarters, customer service annex, and state-of-the-art 911 call center), the implementation of a region plan to eliminate chronic homelessness, the BeltLine project, the Oracle financial system, and a variety of outsourcing initiatives and other programs. There is no doubt that this administration can easily document over $100 million in permanent operating savings that the City has generated since Mayor Franklin has been in office. It would be difficult to find another city in the country that has accomplished such major reforms in just six years. Mayor Franklin has been and remains committed to the government reform that produces high-quality performance and long-term efficiencies.

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