Request for Proposal Process Policy Brief 0809-05

31 August 09

Prepared by:

  • Erika Burton
  • Sean Hood
  • Jimmy Elcock
  • Elliot Waters

This report was written by undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans under the direction of Professor Peter F. Burns.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

New Orleans’ request for proposal (RFP) process experiences copious interruptions that affect its efficiency. It needs accountability but greater efficiency as well. This report compares cities of similar structures to establish a process best fit to fulfill the needs of New Orleans. The time it takes New Orleans to process one RFP, Louisville, KY could complete four. In New Orleans, for instance, once a city department issues an RFP and contractors submit proposals, the city’s review process involves excessive oversight compared to processes in similar cities. The unnecessary oversight elongates the process and reduces efficiency.

A comparison of New Orleans’ RFP process with those of other commensurable cities, requested by Dr. Blakely, indicates different policy options that would expedite the process in New Orleans and reevaluate the different checks currently involved. The cities in the comparative case studies use different procedures that fulfill their needs. Based on case studies, we recommend that New Orleans implement an expedited procedure in times of emergency, a threshold of $50,000 that determines the review process for the proposal, improved communication between the mayor and the review board, and a permanent review board that includes the use of a paralegal.

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Ad Valorem Tax Policy Brief 0809-03

24 August 09

Prepared by:

  • Jamie Boudreaux
  • Maria Patselikos
  • Kevin Welsh

This report was written by undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans under the direction of Professor Peter F. Burns.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Like most municipalities in the United States, New Orleans depends on ad valorem taxation for a vast amount of city revenue. Ad valorem policy is formed by a complex web of state and local law, and different localities often adopt different strategies to fund city services, facilitate outside investment, and promote tourism. Different areas, even those that are geographically and demographically similar, have opted to use radically different strategies.

New Orleans is unique in taxation strategy because of the presence of public-private partnerships that have the ability to levy ad valorem taxes, often within a specific city district, for the provision of extra city services or to facilitate outside investment and tourism. Consistently, we found that these public-private partnerships share two properties: (1) the ability of the city’s elected officials, especially the mayor, to staff the leadership of the taxing body with political allies (patronage) and (2) the creation of new policy options and the acquisition of resources that would be otherwise nonexistent.

While we found that transparency in tax expenditure and patronage in leadership appointments were potential issues in these public-private partnerships, we found no evidence that these partnerships are detrimental to the city. To the contrary, both the Audubon Commission and the Downtown Development District have served the city well during their respective histories; both entities have executed their respective functions efficiently and consistently. We do note, though, that these partnerships are seemingly created only when they will advance substantive business interests, outside of the highly localized and rather small “security districts” in uptown New Orleans.

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Taxicab Policy Brief 0809-02

20 August 09

Prepared by:

  • Cameron Sasnett
  • Cade Cypriano

This report was written by undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans under the direction of Professor Peter F. Burns.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Throughout the United States, and even the world, regulation of safe and reliable ground transportation within urban areas helps maintain a stable traffic flow and address the satisfaction of the citizens who rely upon the transportation system. Traditionally, an operator’s entry into the taxicab portion of this system has been regulated and restricted by municipal governments to provide a fair and balanced arrangement that is both capable of handling cities’ needs as well as being profitable for the operators.

Recently, citizens in New Orleans asked whether the city’s taxicab regulation system provides safe and reliable service. New Orleans regulates issuance of operational permits for taxicabs. The city provides operators with a license known as Certificates of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPNC). Most cities similar to New Orleans utilize a formula, based on a number of factors such as population, vehicle ownership, and other transportation variables to derive a specific number of taxicabs. Similar cities also regularly evaluate these numbers to ensure that a sufficient number of taxis are available throughout the city. Currently, New Orleans does not have such a system in place and as a result, it maintains an overabundance of nearly 1,100 taxicab permits, or 67% of its current licenses. This over-saturation of taxicabs created a system that forces taxi operators to battle for the most convenient fares instead of focusing on providing services throughout the city.

Specific considerations should be accounted for New Orleans’ allotment of CPNCs: since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans’ population and tourism levels have deflated and increased without a reexamination of the appropriate number of operational permits issued each year. Prior to Katrina, New Orleans sustained a tremendous reduction in its residential population. In addition to New Orleans’ population changes, the city faces CPNC reduction strategy challenges. Currently, city legislation allows permit holders to leverage their cityowned licenses for monetary loans. New Orleans should prohibit the monetary leveraging of CPNCs. Prohibition of the allowance of the value-based transfers will help the city to regain control of the CPNCs present in the city. In addition to an overhaul of the CPNC process, New Orleans should continue to enforce legislation present in the ground transportation section of its code of ordinances, and seek to be a leader in the field of urban, for-hire, ground-transportation management.

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