Governor Phil Murphy

ICYMI: DCA Launches Local Assistance Bureau to Provide High-Level, Hands-On Help to Local Governments

09/25/2019

Bureau Will Provide Services and Support in a Wide Variety of Areas to Local Governments at No Cost

TRENTON, NJ – The Murphy Administration today announced that the Local Assistance Bureau in the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is open for business and ready to provide onsite, hands-on technical assistance in a wide variety of areas to local governments at no cost. The goal of the bureau is to cultivate best practices in local governments and to link local agencies that might be facing challenges to the State’s comprehensive network of resources. 

DCA is encouraging any local government agency that has a specific need or an idea that requires assistance to reach out to the Local Assistance Bureau (LAB) within the Division of Local Government Services to set up a consultation. The bureau’s technical assistance advisors have years of expertise and a track record of producing efficiencies and achieving savings in municipalities. 

“Our state is only as strong as our communities and the local governments that serve them,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We want to help local agencies achieve excellence in government, which is why my administration is renewing the State’s partnership with municipalities through the Local Assistance Bureau. By helping local governments tap into a well of free expertise, we are hopeful they will up their game in providing cost-effective public services to their constituents.”

“Historically, the Division of Local Government Services has been second to none in the nation when it comes to the breadth and depth of its expertise provided to our state’s municipalities, which has contributed significantly to the fiscal strength of communities across New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “In creating the Local Assistance Bureau, we are upholding this important standard while building upon our ability to provide custom guidance and support for each municipality.”
 
The Local Assistance Bureau is comprised of municipal professionals who have considerable expertise with budget law, bond law, local public contracts law, local authorities fiscal control law, civil service, and other intricacies of local government. Bureau staff can assist with administration, finance/purchasing, human resources, labor negotiations, police dispatch/communications, public safety, public works, and risk management/insurance, among other areas. 

The Bureau can also provide shared services and consolidation assistance to help towns achieve property tax savings. The Murphy Administration has authorized a $10 million appropriation to provide programming and support for municipal governments’ shared services efforts.

“My staff and I are routinely impressed by the commitment to innovation shown by communities in New Jersey and their strides to realize cost savings through better and more efficient services,” said Division of Local Government Services Director Melanie Walter. “We are excited to bring our team of knowledgeable advisors and their fresh and enthusiastic insights to the table.”

For more information on the Local Assistance Bureau, local government officials can send an email to LocalAssistance@dca.nj.gov

The Division of Local Government Services regulates the finances of local governments in New Jersey to ensure fiscal solvency. It also regulates local procurement, licenses certain local employees, and provides strong oversight of financially distressed municipalities.

DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery.

For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media