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Phoenix's solid waste field services division hired the most skilled employees it could find when it took over new service areas. Training and regular meetings helped keep the team competitive and efficient. Photo: City of Phoenix
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City park operations crews handle mowing and general maintenance throughout the 38-square-mile community. Photo: City of Carrollton

The city's periodic cost of service review helps stave off poor employee performance. Introducing a “competitive mind-set” within the city and using tools like benchmarking and performance management have increased productivity in many city departments.

All of this is seamless to residents, both in their user fees and level of service. In Carrollton, the RFPrequires details on the same levels of service including price, quality, competency, and capability of the provider. This ensures that residents are not impacted by the reengineering of city business unit operations or transitions to private-sector providers.

“The primary objective of our managed competition process is not outsourcing, but to ensure that the city is receiving the ‘best value' service available in the marketplace from all city operations,” says Guilfoy.

Managed competition benefits

Though each municipality may see different advantages from bidding out city services, Tom Guilfoy says Carrollton, Texas, saw four benefits:

  • Reducing waste, surplus assets, and inefficiencies—doing “more with less”
  • Operating with a greater sense of urgency
  • Improving inter-departmental cooperation, coordination, and resource sharing
  • Involving and empowering front-line employees.