Mayor Nutter announces government efficiency report, asks business community for support on gun violence prevention and education measures.
Philadelphia, February 26, 2013– Speaking at the Annual Mayor Luncheon to members of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the release of a report by FTI Consulting that estimates the City could save $85 million over five years through cost-saving measures and improved revenue collection.
Describing the Philadelphia of the future and the steps the City is taking now to build a stronger, healthier, safer and most prosperous Philadelphia, the Mayor said, “A generation from now, I see Philadelphia with a reputation as a major hub of global entrepreneurial talent, a generator of new ideas from our world-class University, health sciences and technology sectors and with a quality of life unmatched by most other cities in America.”
Mayor Nutter also asked the business community for support on legislative initiatives related to gun violence prevention and public education. Focusing on economic development, the Mayor said that in the near future, the City will identify the private firm that will manage the StartupPHL Seed Fund.
Discussing the recommendations made to the City by FTI Consulting, a global business consulting firm and efficiency expert, the Mayor said the City would implement many of the recommendations and that the City plans to take most of the savings in the upcoming Five Year Plan.
The report estimates that the City could conservatively save millions of dollars without impacting personnel or implementing tax increases. The current collection rates overseen by many City Departments are well below industry standards, according to the report. Mayor Nutter announced that the City is moving forward to establish a Chief Revenue Collections Officer, who will oversee all collection efforts and implement more efficient practices.
Another major FTI finding is that there may be a significant opportunity to reduce the cost of purchased goods by re-engineering the City’s purchasing process. FTI’s recommendations in this area include expanding the use of major category buyers with the goal of procuring the highest quality of goods and services at the lowest price, establishing key performance metrics for major vendors and investing in better technology. Other recommendations include reducing charges on the City’s phone bills, hedging fuel costs instead of solely buying in the spot market, and decreasing the space footprint which would enable a reduction in leased space.
Mayor Nutter also requested the Philadelphia business community’s support in three areas: gun violence prevention legislation, more financial support for the Philadelphia School District and more job opportunities for young people.
“In the coming weeks, the Nutter Administration will send a package of bills to Harrisburg to enhance public safety in Philadelphia. These bills will ask for increased penalties for carrying unlicensed weapons in Philadelphia and for the authority to implement common sense, reasonable local legislation to promote gun safety and reduce gun violence. If any of us are threatened by violence, then all of us are threatened and I ask for your support in this important effort,” Mayor Nutter said.
He asked Chamber members to support meaningful investment by the Commonwealth in Philadelphia’s school system. “We need a substantial increase in the Basic Education subsidy for all schools in Pennsylvania. We need state funding formulas, which will benefit both our district-managed and charter public schools. We need formulas that are based on the number of students served and the varying needs of those students. And we need to fix the charter school funding formula, and its impact on the most charter-friendly school district in the state – Philadelphia. I want you to join me in this effort because education is one of our primary strategies to reduce poverty and violence in our city, and in doing so, we will create a more vibrant business environment.”
Mayor Nutter also talked about the launch of the 10,000 Summer Jobs Challenge in January, and urged business leaders to make an investment in the future of Philadelphia by participating in the Challenge and hiring teenagers during the summer months. More information about the 10,000 Summer Jobs Challenge can be found at www.phillysummerjobs.org.