Thursday, November 3, 2016

The CPBB + ELGL Webinar Series - Applied PBB: P3's!

"While politicians easily offer policy prescriptions, they often fail to ask how they will be paid for." - Mark Funkhouser, Publisher of Governing Magazine

Governing recently published a P3 supplement as part of their Guide to Financial Literacy series. This publication is called Putting Citizens First with an Innovative Approach to P3's. In it they state,
"Governments continue to find new ways to leverage private sector money, expertise, innovation and flexibility. This is especially true for states and localities, which in the past 20 years have rapidly expanded the scope, scale and stakes of that leverage. This practice of deeper private sector involvement in public services is broadly known as public-private partnerships, or P3s."

To Share, or Not to Share

But where do you look to find these partnership opportunities? What type of criteria would help you figure out where a partnership could exist?

Among the success stories you can read about from ICMA and Alliance for Innovation case studies, you’ll find out about SAFEbuilt and the way they’ve revolutionized the entire approach to a Building Department through shared services. For some services, there are proven successes that can provide a ready made blue-print for how to implement them in your community.

In our work in Priority Based Budgeting, one of the greatest outcomes of the work is the ability to shed light on where to find opportunities for shared services. What if a program was of the highest priority for your citizens, and you found out you were one of several providers of this service in your community? Perhaps a partnership would be an incredible opportunity to produce efficiency in the provision of that program. On the other hand, what if you found a lower priority program for which there were other service providers? Maybe the best approach there would be to consolidate services or even allow the other service provider to take on the program entirely.

In the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, City Council identified opportunities for partnership using PBB as a policy priority. In Douglas County, Nevada, the Board of County Commissioners did the same. In our story from the City of Fort Collins, CO, about the Rocky Mountain Innosphere (RMI), the City’s share of funding to support RMI scored well in the PBB process – it was a high priority. However, using the filters of the PBB Model, it was clear that this was a program that others could offer and were offering in the form of business support (in other words, the City need not be the only player in providing this service), that the City wasn’t mandated to do, and was unlikely to pay for itself.  

Through the lens of PBB, this points precisely in the direction of a partnership. The role of government, even in a high-priority program, is not always to be the direct service provider; it can be a key partner!

Priority Based Budgeting and Shared Services

Central to PBB is the idea that all local government organizations can determine the role they're suited to serve best within a community, and amongst all potential service providers within a region - identifying the overlap, the potential for partnerships, consolidated services, and spinning off of services between city, county, school district, non-profit and private sector organizations. The end goal is nothing short of the most efficient use of a community's resources as a whole, to achieve the results of a region – it’s "bang for the buck" for the provision of public services.

In Priority Based Budgeting we’re attempting to provide a comprehensive review of the entire organization, identifying every program offered, identifying the costs of every program offered, evaluating the relevance of every program offered on the basis of the community's priorities, and ultimately guiding elected and appointed officials to the policy questions they can answer with the information gained from the Priority Based Budgeting process, such as:

       What is the local government uniquely qualified to provide, offering the maximum benefit to citizens for the tax dollars they pay?
       What programs are most appropriate to fund by establishing or increasing user-fees?
       What programs are most appropriate for establishing partnerships with other community service providers?
       What services might the local government consider "getting out of the business" of providing?
       Where are there apparent overlaps and redundancies in a community because several entities are providing similar services?
       Where is the local government potentially competing against private businesses within its own community? 

To ultimately see a new way of determining which services our local government is best suited to provide—services that have the greatest impact for the resources within the community’s means.

Untapped Potential

According to the State Department, approximately 1.5 million non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) operate in the United States. There are 87,453 units of local government as recognized by the US Census. Local government no longer needs to be everything to everybody. We heard Bill Clinton give a speech recently where he said the single thing he’d love to “do-over” from his Presidency would be to understand all of the NGO’s and non-profits out there, what they’re doing, and how government could partner better. It’s more efficient, there’s less duplication, and we must find the best providers of services who have the greatest chance of achieving great outcomes. We feel the same thing about local government. Some of the best things taking place in a community are coming about from partnerships, where local government is the leader, the facilitator and often times a key partner, but not always necessarily the only possible service provider.

Public Private Partnerships (or P3’s) are becoming an incredibly exciting opportunity area for the future of local government and our communities. Why? Because through partnerships, local governments are able to tap into additional resources, bringing other service providers into the same mission we strive to achieve, almost as if adding new staff for no new money (and often times, while reducing costs). It’s as if government has increased it’s size (through the collaborations created in such partnerships), but it will not have increased in size. Instead it will have leveraged these partners to increase the overall impact! It’s a truly remarkable solution.

The good news is that government “Doesn’t Have To” be in the same businesses it has been in throughout history, providing these same services – there are many many other service providers who are working on the same societal objectives of safer communities, healthier people, a more thriving economy, etc. Government must realize who these players are, and leverage the force of their efforts – thereby reducing redundancies within community, maximizing key partnerships with these services providers, and ultimately optimizing the resources that a community has from all of it’s service providers.

The trick to the P3 solution, is three-fold:

1.)  What: what services make for ideal P3’s in your community? Not every community is the same, and therefore we need a methodology to discover what services are ripe with opportunity for partnership.
2.)  Who: who are the other potential partners in your community, with whom you can share services, regionalize shared services and potentially consolidate services with?
3.)  How: finally, how do we begin to envision a path to execution and implementation of a P3 opportunity?

This webinar series will serve to provide you with this 3-fold solution, via the methodology of Priority Based Budgeting, and the tools that are leading today’s PBB communities to discover P3 opportunities, and bring them to life.

The #P3 Webinar Series

The intent of this webinar series is to provide concepts and opportunities revolving around partnerships, guide local government leaders to start to understand where these opportunities exist, and highlight both Public-Private-Partnerships as well as Public-Public-Partnerships.

The three individual webinars include:
I. Intro: November 15, 2016 from Noon to 1 PM EST
What are partnerships and how PBB leads to unveiling opportunities around partnerships

II. Public/Private Partnerships: December 13, 2016 from Noon to 1 PM EST
CPBB to co-present with leading public-private local government provider Safebuilt 

III. Public/Public Partnerships: Date in January 2017 TBD
CPBB to co-present with City of Englewood City Manager toprovide a case study of how City of Englewood merged their Fire Department with a neighboring jurisdiction

Register today!

Keep an eye on the CPBB blog for further updates. Sign-up for our social media pages so you stay connected with TEAM CPBB!

If you're thinking of jumping into the world of Fiscal Health and Wellness through Priority Based Budgeting we would certainly like to be part of your efforts! Contact us to schedule a free webinar and identify the best CPBB service option(s) to meet your organization's particular needs.

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