Responsible Contract Manager: Protecting the Public Interest in an Outsourced World

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Contract management is a critical skill for all contemporary public managers. As more government duties are contracted out, managers must learn to coordinate and measure the performance of private contractors, and to write contract requirements and elicit bids that obtain important services and products at the best possible price and quality. They must also learn to work in teams that include both public and private sector partners.

The Responsible Contract Manager delves into the issues of how to ensure that the work done by private sector contractors serves the public interest and argues for the necessity of making these organizations act as extensions of the public sector while maintaining their private character. Government contract managers have a unique burden because they must develop practices that ensure the production advantages of networked organizations and the transparency and accountability required of the public sector.

The Responsible Contract Manager fills a major gap in public management literature by providing a clear and practical introduction to the best practices of contract management and also includes a discussion of public ethics, governance and representation theory. It is an essential guide for all public management scholars and is especially useful for students in MPA graduate programs and related fields.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589012141
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: Public Management and Change Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 371,785
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Cohen is director of the Master in Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy and executive director and chief operating officer of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

William Eimicke is deputy commissioner of the Fire Department of New York City and director of the Picker Center for Executive Education at Columbia University.

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Table of Contents


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



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