Metropolitan Wastewater

September 27, 2001

CONTACT: Michael Scahill


SAN DIEGO, CA - The City of San Diego's program to revamp its wastewater treatment operations has earned the City the 2001 Program Excellence Award for Innovations in Local Government from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). The award was announced at the association's 87th annual conference in Salt Lake City on September 25 and accepted by City Manager Michael Uberuaga.

The City's Public Contract Operations, also known as the "Bid To Goal" program, measured City operations against private sector benchmarks, and since being authorized by the City Council in 1998, has resulted in $53 million in savings to date for the City. The savings were achieved by the Operations & Maintenance Division of the Metropolitan Wastewater Department by streamlining existing processes; centralizing maintenance and warehouse functions; emphasizing preventive maintenance; developing more efficient procurement and inventory control practices; improving the tracking of budgets and expenditures; and implementing employee incentive programs. The six year program focuses on collaboration and teamwork through an enhanced Labor-Management partnership.

The Bid to Goal program was collaboratively developed by Metropolitan Wastewater in concert with the City Manager, the City Optimization Program, the San Diego Municipal Employee Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - Local 127. In May of this year, the City Council authorized a second and separate Bid To Goal contract with Metro's Wastewater Collection Division. Plans are already underway to expand the program to other Metro divisions and City departments.

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