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This web site contains over 100 reports covering municipal, school, and other government entities. These reports include evaluation of over 30 areas found in local government in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

ORIGIN

The Local Government Budget Review Program was created in 1994 and placed in the Office of the State Treasurer. The program was planned to provide a voluntary process for municipalities and school districts to gain assistance in controlling their costs. The performance reviews focus on the issues driving the cost of local services in an effort to gain control over those costs. The reviews were provided at no cost to the local entity with the recommendations and observations produced during the review were offered as voluntary recommendations for consideration by local elected officials.

RESOURCES

Small teams of state and former local employees, under the leadership and direction of experienced local government practitioners, undertook the local reviews. The team leaders were recruited for this purpose from among the ranks of experienced New Jersey municipal and education practitioners in order to ensure that the recommendations contained in the reports were practical, workable solutions to local issues. The viability and credibility of the recommendations contained in the reports have proven to be a great significance to the ultimate success of this project. Many state agencies and departments provided support for the review teams. This innovative effort on the part of state government to harness the professional expertise of all state agencies to assist in the delivery of local government services has proven to be extremely successful and valuable to the state agencies involved and the local entities served.


REVIEW PROCESS

Performance reviews begin with an analysis of the organization including a historical review of annual financial statements, operating budgets, independent financial audits, collective bargaining agreements, personnel policies and other written procedures and policies. During the field review, a team of analysts conducted interviews of all elected officials, department directors, key staff, independent contractors and members of the public. These interviews attempted to assess operating policies and procedures and measure the effectiveness of the entities in identifying and reaching their objectives. The field analysts physically visited appropriate facilities and made observations relating to the implementation of policies and procedures and the effectiveness of the staff in delivering services. As issues were raised during the course of interviews, the field analysts tapped the full spectrum of the state's resources in an effort to identify and quantify opportunities for improvement. Following the six to eight week interview and observation component of the fieldwork, staff evaluated their observations and worked to develop alternatives for the entity. The analysis attempted to provide specific insight and guidance to the individual entity to ease the implementation of the recommendations presented.


New Jerseyans deserve the best government their tax dollars can provide. Efficiency in government and a common sense approach to the way government does business, both at the state and at the local level, are important. It means taxpayers should get a dollar's worth of service for every dollar they send to the government, whether it goes to Trenton, their local town hall, or the school board. Government on all levels must stop thinking that money is the solution to their problems and start examining how they spend the money they now have. It is time for government to do something different.

Of major concern is the rising cost of local government. There is no doubt that local government costs and the property taxes that pay for them have been rising steadily over the past decade. The Local Government Budget Review (LGBR) program was simple: to help local governments and school boards find savings and efficiencies without compromising the delivery of services to the public.
 

The Local Government Budget Review ceased operations on January 25, 2002

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Last Updated: March 21, 2002