Public Sector Privatization

Public Sector Privatization

by Lawrence K. Finley


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When government services are turned over to profit-making corporations will a gentler, kinder America result? Significantly, when the issue of privatization of government arises, this question usually takes a back seat to the more narrowly focused one of: can the taxpayer pay less for the same service without diminishing existing quality? . . . This book compiles experiences of practitioners and corporations with generally positive experiences in contracting for services between public and private entities. The essays by professors raise serious questions that all societies will face in creating an appropriate mix so that their citizens enjoy gentler, kinder lives. Growth and Change

For many cities and states faced with reductions in federal revenue sharing and little political support for increased taxes, privatization of the public sector seems the only viable alternative. In an effort to maintain existing service levels with decreased funds, many governments have turned to alternative service delivery approaches through such mechanisms as contracting, franchises, subsidies, and voucher plans. In this volume, Finley and a distinguished group of contributors from city governments, corporations, and universities, offer a comprehensive overview of privatization in practice. Their papers address privatization in a number of areas including transportation, fire protection, health care, and environmental services as well as the legal aspects of privatization. An especially stimulating chapter describes major European efforts at privatization.

Divided into three major sections, the book begins with introductory chapters that examine the dimensions of public services, evaluate recent changes in the public-private mix, and explore alternative delivery methods. Part Two focuses on alternate services experiences of governments and companies, including topics on environmental infrastructure alternatives, alternative means of highway development, private fire contractor operations, and alternative health care delivery. The final section addresses both constraints to privatization and the opportunities presented by various alternative delivery mechanisms. Here the contributors address the legal liabilities of governments involved in contracting out, the financial responsibilities of the contracting entities, and government financing of facilities through bonds. A chapter by the editor recommends a process by which business persons can begin to successfully compete tith public deliverers, while the final chapter offers new insights into the ways in which various European countries have handled the issue of privatization. Policymakers and public sector executives will find these essays enlightening and provocative.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780899303307
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/26/1989
Pages: 198
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

LAWRENCE K. FINLEY is Associate Professor of Management and Marketing at Western Kentucky University. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State in Administrative Sciences and is the author of the forthcoming book Entrepreneurial Strategies.

Table of Contents


Issues in Alternative Service Delivery

Alternative Service Delivery, Privatization, and Competition

Alternative Service Delivery Approaches and City Service Planning

Alternative Delivery of Services in Rochester, New York

Florence, Kentucky, Adapts to Growth

Experiences of Alternative Deliverers

Business Perspective—Environmental Infrastructure

Privatization of Transportation Services

Privatization of Fire Protection and Beyond by Rural/Metro

American Health Care and the Economics of Change

Humana, Inc.—A Business Perspective on Health Care

Constraints and Opportunities

Legal Considerations in Privatization and the Role of Legal Counsel

Introducing Entrepreneurial Competition into Public Service Delivery

Privatization in Europe


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