Fresh off voters’ passage of Proposition C yesterday, Mayor Jerry Sanders today rolled out the steps he will have to take before businesses can begin bidding on city contracts against municipal employees.

Sanders would not provide a timeline for the milestones he needs to reach before the city is prepared to conduct the competitions, but said he hopes the city is prepared to begin weighing bids by next summer.

Here are the steps Sanders laid out for putting a city service out to bid:

  • A city department or function will be reviewed through a streamlining method known as “business process reengineering,” or BPR. The mayor’s administrators started the BPR practice earlier this year, hoping to make city functions – ranging from contracting to human relations to fleet maintenance – more efficient.

The city has started or completed the BPR process for landfill operations, streets, water, wastewater, print shop, libraries and records management.

  • After BPR, the mayor can choose whether the department or function that has been reworked will be subject to managed competition by asking the independent review board to open up bidding to private companies.
  • The city will seek proposals from companies. The proposals will be reviewed by an independent review board, which will be made up of four residents and three city workers. Members of the board are not allowed to have any financial ties to any of the companies bidding on city work. Sanders said he hopes to have the board members in place in early 2007.
  • The independent review board may recommend a private enterprise to the mayor, who can only accept or reject the suggestion in its entirety. The mayor cannot tweak the provisions of the board’s advice, and Sanders said the only reason he would opt to outsource a service is if it saved the city 10 percent or more.

If the mayor approves the contract, the City Council could also only accept or reject the proposal wholesale.

Every city contract that is awarded to a company will be audited every year.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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