Source: AM Online (MI), 02/29/2008
Detroit, Mich. public school officials are investigating Aramark’s food service management contract, according to The Detroit Free Press. The district could be forced to pay penalties to the state if it is found to have used federal money that by law was not supposed to be paid to Aramark, said Barry Sackin, a consultant and former vice president of public policy for the School Nutrition Association in Alexandria, Va.
Source: CUPE.com, February 26, 2008
A British government inquiry into a P3 to upgrade London’s subway system concludes the scheme was a “spectacular failure”.
In a report released late last month, the House of Commons Transport Committee said the private consortium’s “pathetic underdelivery” should be a warning against future P3 contracts.
Source: By STEVE SCHULTZE, Journal Sentinel (WI), Feb. 29, 2008
A nearly 5-year-old computerized medical records system for inmates at the Milwaukee County Jail and the House of Correction in Franklin has failed to provide more than $1 million in expected savings and has worked so poorly it should be trashed, a new audit (.pdf) says.
….. The vendor chosen for the system, Illinois-based Seaquest Technologies, did not have experience designing records systems for correctional facilities.
Source: BY KEITH BENMAN, Northwest Indiana Times (IN), Thursday, February 28, 2008 | 20 comment(s)
Gov. Mitch Daniels told a conservative Washington think tank on Monday that leasing Gary/Chicago International Airport to a private operator represents a “heck of an opportunity” for Gary.
Source: OMB M-08-11, Competitive Sourcing Requirements in Division D of Public Law 110-161 (February 20, 2008) (8 pages)
· “This memorandum provides guidance on certain government-wide provisions related to competitive sourcing in sections 739 and 747 of Division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, P.L. 110-161. Specifically, this guidance addresses: (1) health and retirement fringe benefit comparability requirements, (2) the use of competitive sourcing for human resources (HR) activities, (3) application of the conversion differential, and (4) the performance of commercial activities by non-profit agencies under the AbilityOne Program.”
Other OMB competitive sourcing documents
Source: By Mary Beth Almond, C & G News (MI), Feb. 22.
Members of Birmingham Public Schools’ custodial and transportation staff are up in arms about the district’s exploration of possible changes to school services.
…… On Feb. 5, an alert from the Michigan American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 25 was placed next to the agenda outside the Board of Education meeting room for members of the community to pick up on their way into the meeting.
The flier, endorsed by Michigan AFSCME Council 25 President Albert Garrett and Secretary-Treasurer Lawrence A. Roehrig, stated, “As public school districts consider choosing moving forward with plans to privatize school services, they are treading a well-worn and ill-chosen path filled with pitfalls.”
Source: By: Samuel Loewenberg, The Politico, February 27, 2008 04:57 PM EST
Few people know the underbelly of government spending better than David Walker, who is stepping down next month as the head of the Government Accountability Office.
….. At the top of his hit list is Medicare, and in particular the new prescription drug benefit that went into effect in 2006. The true costs of that program were hidden from Congress and the American public, said Walker, who previously served as a Medicare trustee during the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The real cost of the drug program for seniors, Walker said, will be more than $8 trillion.
…… Another area that drew the comptroller general’s fire was the use of contractors by government agencies, particularly the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon and other agencies in Iraq. “The biggest area of waste in this government is acquisition and contracting,” Walker said.
Source: By ROBERT PEAR, New York Times, February 28, 2008
Private Medicare plans often cost beneficiaries more than the traditional government-run Medicare program, Congressional investigators say. Many private plans advertise extra benefits and low costs.
But in a report to be issued Thursday, the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, says that many people in private plans face higher costs for home health care, nursing homes and some hospital stays. About one-fifth of the 44 million Medicare beneficiaries — 9 million people — are in private plans, known as Medicare Advantage plans.
Related testimony from GAO: Medicare Advantage: Higher Spending Relative to Medicare Fee-for-Service May Not Ensure Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs for Beneficiaries
Source: By CRAIG SCHNEIDER, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA), 02/26/08
In a move expected to secure hundreds of millions in private and state funds, the DeKalb County Commission approved a lease agreement Tuesday that would shift operational control of Grady Memorial Hospital to a new nonprofit corporation. The unanimous vote is one of the last hurdles in the management restructuring designed to save the financially crippled hospital.
Source: By Alison Hewitt, Pasadena Star News (CA), 02/25/2008 12:36:26 AM PST
A proposal from the county’s health department riled supporters and detractors last week, with disagreements fueled by confusion over what the plan would do – and whether the department misled county supervisors.
Supervisors said they were told that DHS intended to close 11 of the department’s 12 health clinics. Department of Health Services Director Bruce Chernof and county CEO Bill Fujioka called that a misunderstanding. They said the proposal had always been to find private management for those 11 clinics, including the La Puente Health Center.