Outsourcing bills answer wrong question Unions step up plan to quash private contracting

Source: Steven Greenhut, Union Tribune, February 24, 2014

…. The main question “they” are mulling: Should public employees provide various services themselves or should agencies be free to use private contractors? The bills’ author, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is a critic of outsourcing. His legislation doesn’t ban the practice, however, but adds new hurdles agencies must navigate. Pan’s efforts echo the “Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda” championed nationally by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). According to one of that union’s publications, this agenda “provides specific ways to hold states, counties, cities and school districts accountable if they even think about outsourcing services or selling off public infrastructure.”
Assembly moves to rein in ‘abuse’ of government outsourcing
Source: Dennis McCoy, Sacramento Business Journal, February 13, 2014

A package of bills introduced in the state Assembly aim to break apart a perceived culture of abuse in government outsourcing to private-sector businesses. The bills are part of a greater movement among states to stop contracting out in cases when the work is seen as better suited for public employees — an effort largely organized by the nation’s largest public services employees union, AFSCME. …. The resolution also suggests local governments consider the Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda, a document by AFSCME that advocates for private contracts to be posted online, among other practices. …

Here are the bills:
Assembly Bill 1574 would allow state agencies to terminate contracts if the contractor does not provide the agreed upon products or services.
Assembly Bill 1575 seeks to empower state agencies by requiring contracts to meet specific performance criteria and cost parameters.
Assembly Bill 1578 would require the state to publish an online database of contractor names and payments per contract, including the hourly wages of private contractor employees. …

Vendors worried about bills that target state outsourcing
Source: Allen Young, Sacramento Business Journal, February 14, 2014

Vendors say they’re willing to negotiate over legislation that would tighten limits on state contracts with outside firms — but they worry the real aim is an outright ban. A package of bills by Assemblyman Richard Pan includes provisions that would require vendors to meet strict standards and allow agencies to terminate contracts in some cases. …