Baltimore County rates a B+ in national survey

January 29, 2002|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County received a B+ in a national report card on government efficiency, the third-highest grade given in a study of the nation's 40 largest counties.

The information, to be released today by the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and Governing magazine, graded counties in five areas: financial management, capital management, human resources, managing for results and information technology.

Baltimore County exceeded the national average in all five areas, falling behind only Fairfax County, Va., and Maricopa County, Ariz., for top honors in the survey, which was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Baltimore County led three other Maryland counties studied in the report. Anne Arundel County earned a C, Prince George's County a B- and Montgomery County a B. Nationally, the 40 counties averaged a C+.

The survey, based on a questionnaire and interviews, is the fourth in a series of reports grading state, city and county governments on management and delivery of public services.

Baltimore County received an A- in financial management, and was praised for having strong financial management across the board.

In capital management, the county received an A-. The report praised the county for identifying and dealing with a $560 million school maintenance backlog.

The lowest score, a B-, came in human resources. The county was faulted for having no central plan for managing its 7,000 employees.

The county earned a B in managing for results. The report highlighted a program that allows employees who have cost-saving ideas to share in the savings.

In information technology, the county earned an A-. The county office was recognized for creating a pay scale to attract and retain technical workers.

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