Mayor Adams Wants to End Agency Silos; Five City Initiatives Have Been Doing It
*Reposted from Gotham Gazette. Written by Samar Khurshid* (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)
Mayor Eric Adams has repeatedly cited inefficiencies of city government for failing New Yorkers and has vowed that he will end silos that prevent city agencies from working together for better governance. His predecessor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, attempted some of that with five pilot programs aimed at addressing poverty-related issues. Those pilot programs are nearing the end of their timeline and, according to the official coordinating the efforts, have made “significant progress” despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they could help inform Adams’ approach writ large.
“We continue to be dysfunctional in every other agency, we operate our city in silos, and due to that, we are inefficient...Just pouring money into our city is not going to solve the problem,” Adams said at a candidate forum when he was running for mayor last year. It was his oft-stated criticism that city agencies are bogged down in red tape and often perform duplicative tasks that increase costs while hampering the efficient delivery of services. Last month, just two weeks before taking over at City Hall, he again reiterated that sentiment. “We have to stop operating in silos and come together and operate as a team,” he said in a PIX11 interview.
The de Blasio administration took a few steps in that direction through The Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (or NYC Opportunity), an office that uses data and research innovations to try to reduce poverty in the city. In July 2019, the office launched five initiatives to mitigate “service silos” across city agencies, help New Yorkers, and offer lessons for inter-agency collaboration.
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