Authority, Jacksonville Housing Authority, Jacksonville Port Authority, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Duval County School Board). The distinction between these entities and the many City departments and agencies is that the School Board and Authorities must compensate
the OGC forthe work performed
in actual dollars from their budgets. Legal work performed for departments isessentially a bookkeeping matter consisting of no actual payment of funds. Consequently thesebilling / legal representation dynamics to the Authorities and School Board have material impact onactual taxpayer dollars. The Committee learned that the billing rates set by the OGC are arbitrary in nature, and donot necessarily correspond to the complexity of the legal work being performed, or to the prevailing market rates for comparable legal services rendered by attorneys in private practice with the samelevel of experience. For most of the OGC’s clients, such as the offices of the Executive Branch orthe City Council, the billing rates set by the OGC are immaterial since the expenses associated withproviding their legal services are ostensibly covered in full by the OGC’s budget. However, theindependent authorities pay “real money” to the City for the legal services rendered by the OGC. Itis acknowledged that the independent authorities typically pay substantially less money for legalservices received through the OGC than would be the case if the services were acquired through aprivate law firm. However, the TLC also heard from clients who felt they could save significantsums of money from their legal budget if they were permitted to hire their own in-house generalcounsel with experience in highly specialized legal areas, such as energy regulation and specialeducation. Additionally, it was suggested to the Committee that the billing rates of the OGC are notintended to be set according to prevailing market rates, but rather with the goal of partial costrecovery for the legal services rendered.ii.
Control of Certain Components of OGC Budget The Committee learned that the OGC currently lacks effective control – and perhaps, theability to provide any meaningful input – on several components of the OGC’s budget that can3