Local Government Innovation

Overview

Nationally recognized scholars and practitioners examine opportunities in which services traditionally provided by local governments are offered by the private sector though a contract or are transferred to a private business completely. Many large U.S. cities have contracted services for many years. With the movement to rightsize governments in recent years there has been renewed interest by local governments in similar ventures. Privatization, in its many forms, is now seen as a viable alternative to ...

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Overview

Nationally recognized scholars and practitioners examine opportunities in which services traditionally provided by local governments are offered by the private sector though a contract or are transferred to a private business completely. Many large U.S. cities have contracted services for many years. With the movement to rightsize governments in recent years there has been renewed interest by local governments in similar ventures. Privatization, in its many forms, is now seen as a viable alternative to traditional ways of providing public services and can bring substantial benefits to residents. With greater accountability being demanded and pressures on local officials to hold the line on or reduce taxes, efforts to find innovative service delivery methods will probably increase. Cities, such as Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Charlotte, are examples showing that contracts with private businesses can work to benefit all parties. Local officials must move ahead cautiously, and not all attempts at privatization or contracting have succeeded. Some cities, after an evaluation, have decided to provide services with municipal employees.

The main issues underlying privatization decisions will be addressed conceptually so that practitioners and academics benefit from a review of the current thinking on the issues. At the same time, exemplary practices and case studies are included so that readers can understand how privatization and managed competition have been implemented in local governments. Special attention is paid to administrative questions that may arise during the implementation process. For example, ways in which cities have worked with employees who fear displacement because of the privatization process are described. The book breaks new ground by including references to recent innovations in public-private partnerships and describing how privatization may evolve in the future.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Examines issues related to privatization of public services, managed competition, and contracting in cities. Provides information on recent innovations in privatization in various US cities, referring to specific practices and case studies that will help readers evaluate experiences of local public officials and administrators. Examines recent issues and trends, operational aspects of contracting arrangements, and results and future prospects. Contributors represent public and private agencies, academia, and think tanks. Johnson is director of the Illinois Center for Competitive Government. Walzer is professor of economics and director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567203820
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/30/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Lexile: 1430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBIN A. JOHNSON directs the Illinois Center for Competitive Government located at Western Illinois University.

NORMAN WALZER is Professor of Economics and director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations vii
Preface ix
1. Introduction and Overview 1
Part I Issues and Trends 15
2. The Evolution of Privatization Practices and Strategies 17
3. Opportunities in Privatization and Outsourcing 37
Part II Operational Aspects 57
4. Selecting Services for Outsourcing 59
5. Structuring the Market for Service Delivery: A New Role for Local Government 85
6. Providing Public Services through Long-Term Service Agreements 105
7. The Role of Information Management in Making Competition Work 123
8. Impacts of Social Mandates in Contracting 141
Part III Results and Future Prospects 167
9. Privatization and Managed Competition: Management Fad or Long-Term Systematic Change for Cities? 169
10. Impact of Privatization and Managed Competition on Public Employees 191
11. Impact on Public Organizational Structure and Behavior: Managed Competition and Privatization 211
12. A Bold, Innovative Approach to Privatization: Lessons Learned from Atlanta 237
13. How Far Can Privatization Go? 253
Index 267
About the Editors and Contributors 273
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