Hugh R. Morley
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Two weeks ago, she helped Christie outline elements of his plan to create New Jersey Partnership for Action, a private-public entity designed to promote economic development. The plan includes creating a non-profit organization — Choose New Jersey — funded and staffed by the private sector, to market the state.
Last week, a Guadagno-led panel released the results of a 90-day review of state bureaucracy excesses, suggesting ways to make it easier for businesses to succeed. Guadagno will oversee another part of Christie's partnership, Government Process Solutions, a team of representatives to help businesses navigate state bureaucracy.
Q. What are the three most important points to come out of the red tape report?
The need to change the culture of the regulatory agencies in New Jersey, so businesses knows we understand our role as public servants. The next one is, there needs to be a new model for economic growth. We need to be able to provide one-stop shopping for business communities. You shouldn't have to come to Trenton and knock on everybody's door. You should be able to come to one door, and knock on it, and we should then provide you as a business entity the answers you need.
The third one is [that] the enemy of bureaucracy is technology. We have to improve our information technology. You, as a businessperson, have to be able to file one form that applies to all agencies across state government. It costs you too much to continue to fill out the form with every agency you have to deal with.
Q. Can you explain the Partnership for Action?
Politicians can go out there and tell you how great New Jersey is. But it's much more effective if members of the business community, that already operate here profitably, go out and tell people why it is they are staying here, and why they should come here.
Q. How would the partnership create the "one-stop" goal of departments working together when previous structures didn't?
There has never been a lieutenant governor's office before. There hasn't been a lieutenant governor who can go to the Cabinet members and say, "This is the way we are going to do it." And a lieutenant governor who can pick up the phone and say, "Governor, you have an agency that's not moving in the direction the governor wants it to move."
Q. Does the Partnership for Action work through a non-profit entity [Choose New Jersey] so that it can raise private money, or are there other reasons?
Well, the fundamental reason is we are broke. And we can't fund it. Also, there are some things you can do in the private sector that public officials simply cannot do. We can't go overseas in this environment, the economics of it won't allow it. They can. We can't do cross-country trips. We can't send the lieutenant governor on a trade mission to California, let alone China, or Israel or Europe.
Q. You mean you can't for funding reasons?
Every reason you can think of. Funding reasons. The taxpayers shouldn't be doing that. It's just not appropriate for state government, I think, to spend tax dollars in that way. So the private-public partnership is the way all the states are going these days. Some states fund it to more or less degrees. Certainly Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, Indiana, have a certain degree of state funding involved. And New Jersey is unique in that there will be no state funding. It will be a wholly independent agency.
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