Agenda 2001: Mastermind Behind Sweeping Change; the Mayor of Baltimore Doesn't Suffer Slackers Easily. Martin O'Malley Has Made Everybody, from Roadsweepers to Policemen in His American City, Smarten Up Their Act and Now He's Coming to Northern Ireland to Tell Administration Chiefs Here Just How He Did It. IAN STARRETT Reports on the Man Who Has Made an Astonishing Impact on the Streets of Baltimore
Byline: Ian Starrett
MARTIN O'Malley doesn't suffer the workshy or the incompetent easily. But if you think that would make him unpopular how wrong you would be.
In fact he was elected the youngest mayor in Baltimore's history with an overwhelming 91 per cent of the vote.
He is coming to Belfast and Londonderry to tell public sector institutions interested in the delivery of better local government services just how to go about it.
He will be talking about CitiStat, the innovative local government reform programme that quite literally has made his own US city sit up and take notice.
CitiStat is Baltimore's ambitious new effort to gather and computerise all manner of urban complaints and facts, about everything from idlers taking a quiet nap while on the municipal payrolls to broken street lamps.
As part of this project municipal managers in Baltimore must return every two weeks for a fresh round of accountability to their City Fathers.
Martin D Gallagher, the programme director, said: "One of the best things about it is we can expect movement on a problem in those two weeks."
Mr Gallagher said that in the past the severest scrutiny for change typically occurs only once a year at budget time while CitiStat does it twice a month, with memorandums on supervisors' commitments after each session.
In the Baltimore City Hall sixth floor confrontations commissioners and supervisors are grilled by Mayor O'Malley's chief aides as two screens show fresh data, still pictures and zoom in on streets filled with the latest evidence of shortcomings and progress. …