Beleaguered agency brings in the consultants
Updated 8:30 p.m. ET
What do you do when you've got a badly troubled agency in need of an overhaul?
You hire the high-priced consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to tell you how to fix it.
That's what the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich explained during a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon -- though he emphasized that the decision to bring on McKinsey had been made before he took over as the bureau's chief in June. (BOEMRE -- or whichever acronym you prefer -- is the agency formerly known as the Minerals Management Service.)
"The selection process predated my arrival," he said, adding that when it comes to the cost of the consulting gig, "I don't know the precise figures of the McKinsey contract."
But the firm has been hard at work for weeks, traveling to survey BOEM employees in Santa Barbara, Calif., Anchorage, Alaska and Lafayette, La. Bromwich said the firm had assigned a "very senior and qualified team" to the task, which boasts "vast public and private reorganization experience."
"Their main objective is to learn about the organization in as quick a period of time as they can," he said, adding that they will meet with him on a weekly basis and ultimately present "a large menu of recommendations, options for me to choose from, and decisions for me to make."
The McKinsey contract will cost taxpayers $4.4 million and was awarded through a competitive bidding process, according to an Interior Department official who asked not to be identified.
It is unclear when the McKinsey team will offer its final report: Bromwich reminded reporters that the reorganization could last through all of next year.
He noted that the consultants had emphasized a central message that he agrees with: "This can't be, and shouldn't be, a top-down reorganization process."
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| September 14, 2010; 5:22 PM ET
Categories: Agencies and Departments, Contracting
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