YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsIid

Our Opinion: Use IID efficiency study

September 13, 2001

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors recently received draft copies of an efficiency study that point out areas in which the district is heavy around the midsection.

The study points out problems such as the underuse of the district's computer systems and the excessive fleet of vehicles. A portion of the study the district is to receive Monday will pinpoint steps the district should take to streamline operations.

We urge the board to respond in strong fashion. The board spent a great deal of money on the efficiency study and we would hate to see all that go to waste.

Beyond that, from the portions of the study we've seen, it appears there are a number of issues the board needs to address. To adequately serve the district's power and water users and not do so at exorbitant prices, the district must attempt to streamline where possible — and start with the vehicle fleet, which has an unbelievable ratio of almost one vehicle per employee.


Then there is the issue of the number of supervisors at IID. IID has a ratio of fewer than five employees per supervisor. That, as the old saying goes, is too many chiefs and not enough … well, we'll be politically correct.

But the truth is the study goes on and on about fat and inefficiency at IID. There is so much in the study that coping with its findings is going to be a true test of the board's leadership. The directors are going to have to determine ways to prioritize the findings to bring about change that does not disrupt the work of IID but fosters an atmosphere in which streamlining and efficiency are paramount. Fighting a long-established workplace culture at IID will not be easy, and battles with individual employees, managers and unions might be inevitable, but the first consideration for IID must be its customers.

We urge the district board to be open about the study. There are a great many people interested in the work done by IID and in the results of the study. IID is a public agency and as such the efficiency study is an important public document.

We have a sense there will be much fallout as the study is released in its complete form. If the study is heeded the district could find itself operating a much thinner but stronger organization, one that can save the public money and improve services.

It may take some time and some work, and there may be some lumps along the way, but the district can change for the better.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles