The city of San Diego will implement a program to encourage employees to come forward with ideas for saving money and streamlining operations, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Wednesday.

They mayor also said he would work with city labor organizations to improve the city’s competitive bidding program known as “managed competition.”

“I’m calling on the city’s 10,000 workers to come forward with innovative ideas that boost productivity and save money so that we can increase the amount of work the city does in our neighborhoods,” Faulconer said. “I believe we must start with empowering employees, who know what needs to change so they can be more effective at their jobs.”

Faulconer said that in the San Diego Works program, workers will be offered rewards and recognition for efficiency proposals that save money and/or allow for enhanced services that benefit neighborhoods.

The time and money saved in the program can be spent directly on services for residents, the mayor said.

For managed competition, Faulconer said he wants to implement two dozen changes recommended by a consulting group led by former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.

The competitive bidding program is unwieldy, with 22 distinct steps the city has to follow, Faulconer said. The four competitions that have been held for city departments have saved $9 million annually but taken an average of 29 months to complete, according to the mayor.

One of Goldsmith’s suggestions is to look at the county of San Diego’s competitive bidding program, which has 10 steps.

Employees won all four competitions that have been held. Managed competition was suspended by ex-Mayor Bob Filner, and former interim Mayor Todd Gloria left the decision on whether to resume the program to his successor.

Faulconer was the top supporter of managed competition when he was a City Council member.

City News Service

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