Now more than ever, governments at all levels are looking for ways to reduce spending and improve the services delivered to taxpayers. As such, I'm pleased to announce the release of Reason Foundation's Innovators in Action 2009, which profiles nine innovators who have demonstrated leadership through action on privatization, competition, government re-invention and other market-based reforms designed to reduce the costs of government and deliver more value to taxpayers:
- Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue created the Commission on a New Georgia, an advisory group of corporate executives partnering with the state to re-engineer its bureaucratic machinery.
- Former New South Wales, Australia Premier Bob Carr embraced privately financed toll roads as a means of delivering infrastructure better, faster and cheaper than traditional government approaches.
- Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis is playing a central implementation role in Gov. Bobby Jindal's wide-ranging efforts to streamline the state bureaucracy.
- Under the leadership of State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek, Louisiana's burgeoning school choice movement is using transparency, standards and accountability to improve student achievement and turn around low-performing schools.
- Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard has advanced an array of competition and government reform initiatives designed to control costs, improve government performance, and bring best business practices to government.
- Former Florida Council on Efficient Government Executive Director Henry Garrigo helped to create a national model for a state center of excellence in privatization to ensure sound decisionmaking on outsourcing proposals.
- Chicago's Chief Financial Officer Gene Saffold oversaw the Windy City's $1.15 billion lease of the city's downtown parking meter system in 2009.
- Former AT&T executive Oliver Porter led a citizen task force that created the template for the largely privatized government in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
- Chief Information Officer Eric Gillespie and his colleagues at Onvia saw major gaps in the federal government's commitment and ability to deliver on stimulus spending transparency and they stepped in to fill it by creating Recovery.org at a fraction of the cost it took the feds to create their own Recovery.gov.
Amidst today's massive deficits and red ink, we need government leaders who are willing to ditch the failed status quo and seek out better ways of doing things. We hope the examples and experiences offered by these innovators will inspire reform-minded officials at all levels of government to provide better, leaner and cheaper government to taxpayers.