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Civic Guide to Economy in Municipal Government: Public Works

1 min readBy: TF Staff

Download Civic Guide No. 5

Expenditures for public works activities frequently approximate half of the city’s total operating budget. The danger is ever present that such a volume of spending may be accompanied by waste, especially if the department is overstaffed, if records are inadequate, if operations are poorly planned, and if the organization is not closely knit. The opportunity is also present, however, for rendering public works services economically and efficiently if accepted procedures are followed.

An appraisal of the operations of the public works department will indicate whether your city government has taken advantage of this opportunity. Is the department so organized as neither to overburden administration nor confuse the lines of authority? Are unit costs compiled for the purpose of planning future operations and appraising current operations? Are truly economical routing procedures used? A study of the operations of the public works department in your city will reveal whether affirmative answers, indicating satisfactory operations, can be given to such questions as these.

This manual has been prepared to facilitate a comparison of your city’s public works activities with good techniques and procedures. The extent to which they conform to accepted standards is a measure of their economy and efficiency.