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Several City Council officials said today that they want to more thoroughly review Mayor Jerry Sanders’ “business process reengineering” proposals after previously allowing the mayor to only inform the council of his efforts to reorganize the city’s practices and structure.

Councilwoman Toni Atkins and Donna Frye and Councilman Ben Hueso said that they wanted to review the mayor’s proposals to revamp the city’s procurement, human resources and information technology functions. Frye and Atkins said they were concerned their decision to bypass formal hearings would cut off an important check on the mayor’s authority.

“I think it’s important to hear all of these [proposals] so these don’t slip through the cracks,” Frye said.

Sanders has touted business process reengineering as a way to cut city’s costs by identifying and eliminating waste and inefficiencies in some departments. The money saved could be used to pay other city expenses, such as the pension debt or police recruitment.

Under the current policy that the council passed in July, the City Council has up to 60 days to review one of the mayor’s business process reengineering proposals before it is approved. Either the council president or any four council members may request a hearing during that window.

The independent budget analyst voiced concerns about the system in a memo last week, reiterating its advice that the council should review any interdepartmental transfers such as business process reengineering. The city’s audit committee staffed by the firm Kroll Inc recommended the same thing. The mayor did not include that Kroll suggestion in his own remediation plan.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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