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