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Contract management is a critical skill for all contemporary public managers. In an age of outsourcing and public-private networks, managers must learn to work with, coordinate, and measure the performance of private contractors from both for-profit and nonprofit organizations who have assumed duties once reserved for government employees. Managers must learn how to write contract requirements and elicit bids that obtain important services and products at the best possible price and quality. Contract managers have a unique burden because they must develop practices that ensure the production advantages of networked organizations but also the transparency and accountability required of the public sector.
Steven Cohen and William Eimicke fill a major gap in public management literature by providing a clear and practical introduction to the best practices of contract management. They help the reader answer key questions: When should you outsource, and under what conditions is the task best performed by your own organization? How do you successfully coordinate a public-private network? How do you ensure accountability and guard against corruption and other potential violations of public trust? What is the effect of this new public sector on representative democracy?
Part I: The Basics
1. Defining Contracting and Contract Management
2. What Are the Public Ethics of Contracting?
3. What is Network Management?
4. Ensuring Accountability and Democratic Representation in Government Contracting
Part II: When Do You Contract, When Don't You Contract, and How Do You Find the Right Contractor?
5. When Should You and When Shouldn't You Contract Out?
6. How Do You Find the Right Contractor?
Part III: How Do You Manage Contractors?
7. Managing Contracts: The Skills You Need and What Can Go Wrong -- Twenty Common Problems in Contracting
8. Performance Measurement and Performance Management
Part IV: Case Studies in Contracting
9. When Not to Contract: The U.S. Military and Iraq
10. When Contracting Really Works: Welfare-to-Work in Philadelphia
11. When Contracting Really Doesn't Work: Atlanta's Water Contract
Part V: Conclusions
12. Contracting, Representative Democracy, and Public Ethics