The historic San Diego County administration building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a policy realigning San Diego County’s management of its finances and contracting.

Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer proposed the changes and will serve on the advisory committee that will focus on:

— Establishing a framework for data-driven program evaluations and program impact assessments, to increase the focus on performance management to ensure high standards of efficiency and effectiveness.
— Moving towards a cost-benefit accounting model based on global and national standards.
— Contracting considerations that do not strictly default to outsourcing but allow for more discretion by departments.
— Increasing certain practices that promote efficiency, effectiveness and equity, using data, to inform budget priorities and decision-making.
— Possibly revising the risk mitigation practices intended to ensure healthy budget reserves.

“This measure is so, so important,” Lawson-Remer said. “Our county budget should reflect its values. We want a government that works for all of us.”

Fletcher added that it was important “to look at this with a fresh set of eyes, (and) make the right investments, at the right time in the right way.”

Another goal is making certain investment opportunities are not missed, Fletcher said.

David Garcias, president of Service Employees International Union, Local 221, said he was in strong support of this item.

Garcias said that for too long, the board operated by the “cheaper, better, faster” mantra, which led to wasted time, effort and resources.

“I look forward to a change of culture within county government,” he said.

The board also voted unanimously to seek a new set of guiding principles and priorities for the county’s agenda with the Legislature, including on COVID-19 and public safety.

Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer said she will present them to the board within 90 days.

— City News Service

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