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Report backs streamlining managed competition

San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria on Wednesday threw his support behind a consulting group's recommendations to improve the process of outsourcing municipal work through managed competition.

The recommendations, which already have been backed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, include greater outreach and transparency when seeking outsourcing candidates, conducting more analysis of the outcomes from managed competition and considering other alternatives, such as "insourcing" private sector advisers to help improve public services.

"This report is a clear and comprehensive tool to help this city become a model for innovation,” Gloria said during a meeting of the council's budget and government efficiency committee, of which he is chairman.

The committee voted to accept the report for informational purposes and pass it on to City Council.

The report is the last of five by the Huron Consulting Group, which Gloria hired last October to review city processes when he was acting as interim mayor.

Huron, led by government efficiency expert Stephen Goldsmith, previously examined the city's procurement and contracting process, fleet services, real estate assets and open data.

The managed competition program, approved by voters in 2006, allows private businesses to compete with city employees to provide city services.

So far, there have been four competitive bids that have saved the city $9 million in cumulative annual savings, according to the mayor's office.

One reason there have been so few bids is that the current process takes an average of 29 months, partly because of a complicated 22-step bidding process based on a model used by the federal government.

The Huron report suggested that the process be modeled after the county of San Diego, which entails only 10 steps.

In a six-page response, city officials pledged that within the next fiscal year, the city will meet with its unions "to adopt a more streamlined managed competition approach that more closely reflects the (county's) model."

The response, authored by Barbara Lamb, program manager at the department of performance and analytics, and Ronald Villa, deputy chief operating officer for internal operations, said the city is already following some of the recommendations, but pledged to implement others, including more direct involvement with city unions and more authority for department heads.

“By combining the power of cooperation with the accountability of competition, employees will have a hand in streamlining their duties and taxpayers will receive city services at a lower cost," Faulconer said. "That’s good for City Hall and for San Diego neighborhoods.”

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City of San Diego Executive(s):

Sherri Lightner

  • Council President Pro Tem

Kevin Faulconer

  • Mayor

Todd Gloria

  • Council President

Myrtle Cole

  • City Council Member

Mark Kersey

  • City Council Member

Lorie Zapf

  • City Council Member

Scott Sherman

  • City Council Member

David Alvarez

  • City Council Member

Marti Emerald

  • City Council Member

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