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The City Council’s independent budget analyst issued a report today on the first stage of the mayor’s ballyhooed streamlining plan, finding that $3.8 million in forecasted savings likely won’t be realized for years and will be difficult to measure.

Mayor Jerry Sanders has promised to shave tens of millions of dollars off of the city’s expenditures by streamlining through a process that’s very bureaucratically known as “business process reengineering.” The streamlining is planned in stages, the first of which addressed the city of San Diego’s contracts and purchasing activities.

The Mayor’s Office has consolidated the department, eliminating 11 positions for an estimated $907,000 savings in the current fiscal year. Warehouse consolidation is also estimated to save $1.1 million, $200,000 of which will come from the city’s day-to-day operational budget that pays for such things as parks, libraries and police.

The mayor also forecasted saving $3.8 million by eliminating purchasing paperwork in favor of city-issued credit cards for staff.

The IBA’s report said this:

In reality, it will take many years to see such results and will be equally difficult to verify. Over the long run, the City’s procurement dollars will go further as a result of these process improvements.

The report also states that the mayor has pulled back on a contentious request that would have allowed his office to make discretionary budget changes of up to $1 million without City Council consent. The limit is currently $250,000.

The council will hear a report on the contracts streamlining Monday.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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