Contracting Out Government Services

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Paul Seidenstat
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Business & Economics - 255 pages
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Privatization of government services in the United States has accelerated in the last two decades, especially at the state and local levels. This work focuses on contracting out-the most widely used method of privatization. Contributors from academia, consulting firms, government agencies, and private providers discuss the why and how of contracting out and examine the results of contracted services, including quality and cost measures of performance. Some chapters apply economic theory to contracting out. Others examine recent case studies of contracting out initiatives.

The book begins with a thoughtful essay on the theory of privatization and examines the recent record of use in state and local governments. Section 1 takes an overview look at contracting out. Section 2 examines contracting in the criminal justice area as well as examples of contracting in such diverse areas as trash collection and the operation of golf courses. The final section looks in depth at the mechanics, obstacles, and effects of contracting. The book points out the pluses and minuses of contracting out and points to the lessons that can be learned from the recent history of this privatization technique.

 

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Contents

Theory and Practice of Contracting Out in the United States
3
Municipal Contracting in the 1980s Tinkering or Reinventing Government
26
Public and Private Learning Linking and Legitimating
39
Developing a Privatization Strategy Using Competitive Bidding Cooperative Partnerships and Networks
53
Contracting to Affiliated Companies under Concessions The Economic Approach
85
THE PRACTICE OF CONTRACTING OUT
91
Role of PublicPrivate Juvenile Programs
93
Electronic Monitoring in Los Angeles County A Case of Public Private Partnership in Community Corrections
108
The Cost and Production of Solid Waste Disposal Service
166
Playing Golf on Plush PrivateSector Greens
178
OBSTACLES AND SIDE EFFECTS OF CONTRACTING OUT
185
1mplementing Privatization in the Public Sector
187
Legal Barriers to Local Privatization
194
How Contracting Out City Services 1mpacts Public Employees
211
Competition Between Public Agencies and Private Vendors Vehicle Maintenance Services in Greeley
219
The Mechanics of Contracting Out
233

Policy Considerations in the Privatization of Local Detention Facilities
122
Privatization Lessons from Hospital and Prison Experiences
134
Privatization as a Viable Alternative for Local Governments The Case Study of a Failed Michigan Town
151
Index
249
About the Editor and Contributors
253
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

PAUL SEIDENSTAT is Associate Professor of Economics at Temple University. A specialist in public finance and public management, he has authored and coedited several books, including Educational Choice and Privatizing Education (Praeger, 1994) and Privatizing Transportation Services (Praeger, 1996).