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Fulton County Vows To Slash Red Tape, Speed Up Bureaucracy

Dick Anderson stepped on as Fulton County manager in March. He says he's never worked for a government with more red tape than Fulton County. Anderson is spearheading efforts to “review and revamp” county procedures, a process he says should be finished by the end of the year.
Dick Anderson stepped on as Fulton County manager in March. He says he's never worked for a government with more red tape than Fulton County. Anderson is spearheading efforts to “review and revamp” county procedures, a process he says should be finished by the end of the year.
Credit FULTON COUNTY GOVERNMENT

The person in charge of Fulton County’s day-to-day operations says the county government’s policies and procedures are outdated and cumbersome.

County Manager Dick Anderson is now leading a complete overhaul, which will be guided by an outside consultant. Anderson expects the changes to be complete by the end of the year.

Anderson says the change is necessary because some of Fulton’s bureaucratic processes have been mounting for about a century. He says many policies either conflict with or overlap other county protocols.

“We have difficulty in both hiring people quickly, as well as procuring outside services,” says Anderson.

One recent example of that difficulty surfaced within the county health department. For years, the department’s been unable to spend millions of federal dollars earmarked for HIV prevention. The health department’s director, Dr. Patrice Harris, said red tape is partly to blame.

WABE’s report on the unspent money triggered a departmentwide audit.

Anderson declined to say whether the health department’s spending and compliance problems could cost Dr. Harris her job.  He says he must wait until the audit is complete, which could be “in the next several weeks.”