December 7, 1988
Hon. Board of Supervisors
383 Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
ROLE OF THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER DEPARTMENTAL STRUCTURE OF THE COUNTY
On May 10, 1988, on motion of Supervisor Schabarum, the Board of Supervisors asked our commission to report on
Subsequently, during Board deliberations folloswing the resignation of the Directors of Regional Planning and Data Processing, and during deliberations on Supervisor Schabarum's motion to separate Facilities Management and Personnel functions from the Chief Administrative Office, you referred those questions to us for inclusion in our review.
This is our report on those subjects. We focus particularly on the role of the Chief Administrative Officer and the Parks and Recreation functions,. In our interim letter to each Supervisor dated August 1, 1988, we proposed to include the Department of Regional Planning in our review. We have no comment on the restructuring of Regional Planning at this time. We continue to study the question and will report on it in the future.
This report contains the following three recommendations. They are a further development and refinement of the recommendations on restructuring that we made and the Board adopted in 1983. They are:
|We recommend that the Board of Supervisors separate the operational responsibility for the following functions from the Chief Administrative Office:|
|We recommend that the Board of Supervisors create an Internal Services Department by merging the following and appointing a single Director to manage the centralized functions:|
|We recommend that the Board of Supervisors consolidate the Department of Beaches and the Department of Parks and Recreation.|
These recommendations are based on our findings and conclusions to date in monitoring the effectiveness of the County's reorganization programs, together with our assessment of current trends in business, industry, and government, the knowledge we have accumulated about the condition of the County and its programs, and the findings and recommendations of studies by consulting firms hired by the County for studies of related subjects since 1982. We did not conduct a new study for this work. We interviewed affected department heads, and, with the support of an outside consultant, studied the functions of Facilities Management, Parks and Recreation, and Beaches and Harbors. However, we have not returned to County officials for a review of our findings and recommendations.
We are convinced that the County can further improve its operational effectiveness and efficiency by implementing the three recommendations. All of our review of consolidation efforts to date supports the conclusion that consolidation not only leads to hard savings, but also to system improvement; the CAO has documented similar conclusions. We are particularly convinced that
In our opinion, no further study is necessary. The same or similar recommendations have been made by several consulting studies and internal reports over the past several years. The real difficulty with the kinds of change we recommend is the same as it was in 1983. The changes are technically feasible, and can be expected to be beneficial. They are politically difficult. Department officials and the interest groups with which they interact fear structural change because they expect that the policy and priorities of the Board of Supervisors will also change. We think that the evidence supports structural change. The Board is elected to decide political questions. Thus, we submit our recommendations without regard for the political difficulty that might attend adopting and implementing them.
When our Commission adopted these recommendations at our regular meeting on December 7, 1988, several people addressed the Commission with suggestions and concerns. In particular, the Commission wishes to recognize the following concerns:
These issues are addressed in the report. The Board can and should maintain proper sensitivity to the community by retaining the following citizens' advisory groups in their current roles: Beaches and Harbors Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Beach Advisory Committee, and Aviation Commission.
We see no reason why current data processing efforts should be disrupted by the change we recommend. On the contrary, they will be enhanced. We intend to stay involved in data processing, since your request included reference to the future organization of data processing functions.
In the case of the asset management function, we explicitly agreed to the following qualifications:
At our meeting we also discussed implementation and implementation timing. We believe the timing is right to separate service functions from the CAO's direct control. The County is about to enter its budgeting season for 1989-90. This is the most appropriate time to eliminate the conflict between the CAO's staff role and line operations. It is also appropriate to effect the consolidation of internal services at this time, since the Board can appoint a single individual to manage all of them, and to create an asset management function.
Finally, since the department head position for Parks and Recreation is vacant at present, we see no better time to effect the consolidation of Beaches with Parks and Recreation.
Therefore, we herewith submit our report and recommendations.
WE RECOMMEND THAT the Board of Supervisors
Very truly yours,
Joe Crail, Chairman