Deregulating the Public Service: Can Government Be Improved?

By John J. Diiulio Jr. | Go to book overview

12
A Coup against King
Bureaucracy?

Melvin J. Dubnick

OFFICIALS at a state university, authorized to lease space for off-campus programs in a nearby city, find it is more cost-effective to purchase the site outright. They take the initiative and arrange for the purchase using funds set aside for the lease.

Administrators at a county hospital in California grow increasingly concerned with the lack of prenatal care available to needy local residents. They develop a program to provide comprehensive care through improved use of existing resources and mobilization of public and private resources, volunteers, and grants.

Faced with the need to encourage recycling, a Minnesota municipality develops a high-technology solution to the problem. Using hand-held computers to scan bar-code stickers on recycling bins, the town monitors residential use of recycling and adjusts trash collection bills accordingly--the more recycling, the lower the bill.

Iowa was having a problem finding a market for recyclable waste generated by local business. The solution was to establish a byproduct and waste search service, through which state administrators play matchmaker between generators of recyclable waste and potential users.

These cases might be dismissed as mere isolated innovative actions by government administrators.1 But stories like these pepper the specialized journals that focus on the work of state and local governments. Recent issues of Governing magazine, for example, have highlighted innovations in property acquisition and leasing, responding to community challenges to waste disposal plans, reducing paperwork burdens, lowering the costs of com-

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