Public management has become drastically complex in recent years, not only due to the increase in the work areas that are under the orbit of local governments, but also because even the same tasks that have been carried out for a long time have been seen more. required.
A clear example of this can be public lighting, which although it is a service that was always provided with the same objective, in reality, indoors, local governments have to deal with providing the service that was provided in the past, and they are also required to carry out this task serving multiple objectives. For example, using LED lighting, which consumes less electrical energy, adding sensors that turn them on only when natural light is insufficient, to reduce the economic and ecological cost of their use, that are arranged according to safety criteria, traffic and even aesthetic, etc. At the same time, it is expected that the lighting system will be integrated into an intelligent control panel that detects when a luminaire fails, in such a way that the government immediately goes to solve the problem, without letting time pass or needing a neighborhood complaint.
Ultimately, new work areas are added, and those that come from before have become complex in such a way that they demand an ever-increasing workload from officials.
Likewise, other “traditional” tasks have been added, and we refer not only to those that can be institutionally delegated to a local government, but also those that emanate from new needs of society.
Until a few years ago, no one wanted a City Council to provide solutions on labor issues. However, at present there are more and more municipalities that assume this new social demand, providing the solutions they have at their disposal, be it workshops, joint work spaces, market information for entrepreneurs and other alternatives.
This recent demand from society towards governments is a reality that tends to grow over time. Given this, what can local governments do to keep up? Many things, including seeking support from an external advisor.
¿What is an external advisor?
An external advisor can also be called a political consultant, except that the latter term is closely associated with electoral advice, it is aimed at improving management. That is why the concept of external advisor is more useful to express the task of assisting officials in their daily management tasks. Helping to challenge government actions from outside, identifying and strengthening the main critical points of management, while suggesting specific action plans for different areas of government.
The work can be divided into two aspects, on the one hand identifying and recommending work alternatives that allow solving problems that occupy the officials. On the other hand, provide new ideas and initiatives that are outside the work agenda, finding hidden opportunities, proposing innovations and new options for cities, and even identifying new unsatisfied social demands.
Our way of working:
It begins with the sending of a form with questions that serve to establish a diagnosis and status of the situation regarding which are the main management issues that the officials occupy. From this, a report is delivered and then monthly reports that will deal with responses, proposals or observations:
- Answers: from the problems that are raised by the officials, a professional and external view will be provided, that is, outside the maelstrom that is experienced inside the City Hall.
- Proposals and ideas: With a proactive attitude and based on a specific diagnosis of the main difficulties and challenges, it is possible to carry out a particular exploration of the latest innovations in terms of public policies, new developments and potentialities to discover that may be applicable to management in the town. Providing ideas and different views on the issues.
- Observations: possibility of rethinking internal and external work dynamics of local management, sectors to improve or new areas to develop based on national and international experience. All this always within the scope of the City Council and with a positive attitude and recommendation that allows achieving a greater impact of public policies.
Interaction and communication can be via email, calls or videoconferences. What is established is the monthly delivery of reports where analysis, proposals and management recommendations are contemplated jointly between the officials and the consultant, born from the observation of different situations or opportunities discovered.
As these are public funds, it is worth stopping in this section to provide security and transparency about the form of contracting and the economic cost assumed by the City Council. Working conditions are normally agreed upon through a contract with a minimum extension of one month, establishing as professional fees the amount equivalent to the country's minimum wage. In this way, pursuing the objective of taking care of public spending, but at the same time committing the greatest professionalism when carrying out the work.
The objective of the work of an external consultant is to enrich the management. Provide another view from a perspective other than that of those who have the responsibility of holding public office. It is having someone who is dedicated to studying and performing analysis. Functioning as a support and assistant of the government capable of approaching and recommending the best practices for the different management areas.
From Blanco CP, we offer this external advisory service to Town Halls. Remaining available for any questions or queries that you want to ask us.
Lic. Francisco Blanco