Jan 10, 2014 6:08 PM by KATC
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A contractor getting $4.2 million from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration for an efficiency study is expected to find ways the state can save $500 million annually, the governor's top budget adviser said Friday.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said the expectations were included in the bid request. However, the savings target isn't directly spelled out in the contract signed with consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal.
The firm will wrap up its recommendations by mid-April, after four months of work.
Nichols said if the state isn't satisfied with Alvarez & Marsal's suggestions, it can cut its payment to the company by 15 percent. But she said she was confident the firm's ideas will identify savings for the state that far outstrip the cost of the consulting contract.
"The contract is going to pay for itself, period. No question," Nichols said.
Alvarez & Marsal's contract with the state runs through 2016. However, if the Jindal administration wants more work beyond the final set of recommendations due in April, the price tag would grow beyond the $4.2 million the company is slated to receive for its review.
The Jindal administration has repeatedly talked of its work to make government more efficient and to "do more with less" over the last five years. Nichols said the administration brought in a contractor to help with the efforts because of a need for specialized expertise.
"We're always in a posture of doing more, figuring out every way we can to make sure we've left no stone unturned and to find the best way to deliver services that we can in the state of Louisiana," she said.