Commentary

Reason Staff Around Town: Louisiana Commission on Streamlining Government

Earlier this month, I gave a presentation to Louisiana’s new Commission on Streamlining Government on how privatization and public-private partnerships are transforming government at all levels. The video is now available here (starts at the 2:32:00 mark), and the accompanying presentation is here.

My presentation begins with an intro to privatization and goes on to discuss how and where it can be applied within the Louisiana Division of Administration (DOA). For context, Reason Foundation is engaged in an ongoing partnership with the Louisiana DOA to review its activities and functions to identify potential privatization and outsourcing opportunities (more details on this partnership are available in the DOA section of this state report, starting on page 196). Under the leadership of Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis, the DOA is off and running on an aggressive reform process that is likely to set the tone and serve as a model for other agencies in Louisiana to follow.

From my perspective, what’s been absolutely stunning thus far is to see just how many government reform pistons are firing in Louisiana right now. Governor Jindal deserves a ton of credit hereââ?¬â?not only for creating the Commission on Streamlining Government in the first place (he created it by executive order before the legislature codified it into statute), but also for the direction he’s given to his Cabinet to think big, think bold and get it done. See it for yourself: the plethora of reform recommendations submitted to the Commission already by agencies are peppered throughout the four reports on this page. And that’s just their starting pointââ?¬â?the agencies are continuing to cultivate privatization and reform opportunities, and the Commission itself will likely propose additional ideas that individual agencies haven’t come up with yet when all is said and done.

As both a think tanker and a former resident of Louisiana, I must say that it is indeed an honor and a priviledge to be assisting the state in this important work. It’s an extremely impressive effort, in my estimation, and with the widespread fiscal crises we’re seeing across the country, it’s only a matter of time before other states start paying close attention to the reform push in Baton Rouge.

So many officials in so many places give lip service to the need to reduce the size and scope of state government, but so few actually step up and do the hard work necessary to achieve it. Louisiana is a welcome breath of fresh air in that regardââ?¬â?they’re not just talking, they’re making it happen. I’ve not found another state with a reform agenda as aggressive and comprehensive as Louisiana’s.

Laissez les bon reforms roulez!

Ã?” Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report 2009
Ã?” Reason Foundation’s Privatization Research and Commentary

Leonard Gilroy is Senior Managing Director of the Pension Integrity Project at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. The Pension Integrity Project assists policymakers and other stakeholders in designing, analyzing and implementing public sector pension reforms.

The project aims to promote solvent, sustainable retirement systems that provide retirement security for government workers while reducing taxpayer and pension system exposure to financial risk and reducing long-term costs for employers/taxpayers and employees. The project team provides education, reform policy options, and actuarial analysis for policymakers and stakeholders to help them design reform proposals that are practical and viable.

In 2016 and 2017, Reason's Pension Integrity Project helped design, negotiate and draft pension reforms for the state of Arizona's Public Safety Personnel Retirement System and Corrections Officer Retirement Plan, which both passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the state legislature and were signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Gilroy is also the Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, researching privatization, public-private partnerships, infrastructure and urban policy issues.

Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, California and several other states and local governments in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending.

In 2010 and 2011, Gilroy served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Arizona Commission on Privatization and Efficiency, and in 2010 he served as an advisor to the New Jersey Privatization Task Force, created by Gov. Chris Christie.

Gilroy is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services. Gilroy also edits Reason's Innovators in Action interview series, which profiles public sector innovators in their own words, including former U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani and more.

Gilroy's articles have been featured in such leading publications as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, The Weekly Standard, Washington Times, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Arizona Republic, San Francisco Examiner, San Diego Union-Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sacramento Bee and The Salt Lake Tribune. He has also appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business, CNBC, National Public Radio and other media outlets.

Prior to joining Reason, Gilroy was a senior planner at a Louisiana-based urban planning consulting firm. He also worked as a research assistant at the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech. Gilroy earned a B.A. and M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech.