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

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The Responsible Contract Manager addresses the practical issues of government contract management, and it explores issues of public ethics and the philosophy of governance and representation in a democratic society.

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?

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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: 779,785
  • 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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