Author Archives: Info Center

Common Council oks outsourcing of city’s trash collection

Source: Nicole Rivard, Norwalk Citizen, July 28, 2012

Norwalk Council to Consider ‘Privatization’ Anew
Source: Nancy Guenther Chapman, Daily Norwalk, May 16, 2012
DPW union huddles as Norwalk pursues outsourcing garbage pick-up
Source: Robert Koch, Hour, February 8, 2012
Panel OK’s outsourcing garbage
Source: Robert Koch, Hour, March 2, 2012
Trash Haulers Will Rally to Protest Privatization
Source: Nancy Guenther Chapman, Daily Norwalk, March 13, 2012
“It’s Unwise to Privatize”
Source: AFSCME Council 4, 2012

In opposing garbage privatization, DPW workers say they’re residents, too
Source: Robert Koch, Hour, November 4, 2011

…For several years, privatizing city garbage pick-up has been a sticking point between the city and Local 2405. It’s now among the issues being addressed in arbitration between the city and union over a new contract. Republican Mayor Richard A. Moccia has said that privatization would save the city $750,000 a year. He has said the garbage haulers would be transformed to other jobs within the department rather than be laid off….

State curbs fees to child welfare contractor

Source: Martha Stoddard, World-Herald, July 26, 2012

Nebraska’s last private child welfare contractor will get less money this year to care for abused and neglected children in the Omaha area. Starting July 1, the state began paying the Omaha-based Nebraska Families Collaborative by the case instead of a fixed amount per month. The change, according to a World-Herald analysis, means the difference between a potential $65 million for the year and an estimated $58 million under the new contract….

…The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services contracts with the collaborative to manage child welfare and juvenile-services cases for Douglas and Sarpy Counties. The collaborative contract is all that remains of the state’s 2½-year experiment with privatizing child welfare services. State workers again manage cases in the rest of the state….

Another blow to child welfare privatization
Source: Martha Stoddard, World-Herald, February 21, 2012

Top Nebraska officials plan to change course on child welfare after the state’s experiment in privatization suffered a major blow Tuesday. The Kansas-based KVC announced that the company will stop managing child welfare cases as of Feb. 29. The announcement leaves the state with only one private contractor, [Omaha-based Nebraska Families Collaborative] meaning that state workers will once again be responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of the majority of abused and neglected Nebraska children. But, in a key difference from past practice, State Department of Health and Human Services officials plan to hire enough workers to keep caseloads at manageable levels….

KVC had sought contract changes that would have increased the state’s costs by well over the $19 million figure, HHS officials said….KVC officials previously said they had lost $14 million on their contract with Nebraska. The company threatened last fall to drop its contract at the end of December but agreed to continue after the state provided an additional $1.8 million and promised to negotiate on the case rates….
Child welfare changes a step closer
Source: Martha Stoddard, World-Herald, March 8, 2012
NE turns to more traditional child welfare system
Source:: Grant Schulte, Associated Press, April 15, 2012

Profiting from Public Dollars: How ALEC and its members promote privatization of government services and assets

Source: In The Public Interest, Backgrounder Brief, July 23, 2012

From the abstract:
This backgrounder brief explores ALEC’s privatization agenda in a variety of sectors with a particular focus on what its corporate members stand to gain from increased privatization. It also provides summary highlights from In The Public Interest’s forthcoming report, “Profiting from Public Dollars: How ALEC and its members promote privatization of government services and assets.”

San Bernardino bankruptcy reignites debate over outsourcing city police and fire services

Source: Joe Nelson, Daily Bulletin, July 23, 2012

The city’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection has reignited the debate about whether the city, as a potential cost-cutting measure, should dissolve its police and fire departments and contract with the county for those services… Officials at the San Bernardino County sheriff’s and fire departments said San Bernardino city officials have not approached them on the subject of contracting with their agencies for police and fire services. … Miller and Simpson also recommended in their report that the Police Department contract with adjacent communities for dispatch and other services. Among the cities that have already done so include Brea, Whittier and Maywood, according to the report. …

Police consolidation bid a harbinger

Source: Jason Method, Asbury Park Press, July 23, 2012

….Local elected officials are currently pondering whether to participate in a countywide police consolidation plan. Municipalities have until Aug. 1 to indicate whether they intend to join, although that deadline may be flexible…..So far, no town has volunteered. Several have said they are studying it. Bedminster, Franklin and Peapack-Gladstone have ruled out their involvement. An earlier effort this year to create a regional police force for the city of Camden remains stuck in the discussion phase…..

Hiring and Screening Practices of Agencies Supplying Paid Caregivers to Older Adults

Source: Lee A. Lindquist, Kenzie A. Cameron, Joanne Messerges-Bernstein, Elisha Friesema, Lisa Zickuhr, David W. Baker and Michael Wolf, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Volume 60, Issue 7, July 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Objectives: To assess what screening practices agencies use in hiring caregivers and how caregiver competency is measured before assigning responsibilities in caring for older adults….Participants: Four hundred sixty-two home care agencies were contacted, of which 84 were no longer in service, 165 offered only nursing care, and 33 were excluded; 180 agencies completed interviews…. Results: To recruit caregivers, agencies primarily used print and Internet (e.g., advertising and word-of-mouth referrals. In hiring, agencies required prior “life experiences” (68.8%) few of which (27.2%) were specific to caregiving. Screening measures included federal criminal background checks (55.8%) and drug testing (31.8%). Agencies stated that the paid caregiver could perform skills, such as medication reminding (96.0%). Skill competency was assessed according to caregiver self-report (58.5%), testing (35.2%), and client feedback (35.2%). General caregiver training length ranged from 0 to 7 days. Supervision ranged from none to weekly and included home visits, telephone calls, and caregivers visiting the central office.

Conclusion: Using an agency to hire paid caregivers may give older adults and their families a false sense of security regarding the background and skill set of the caregiver.
See also:
Dangerous Caregivers for Elderly / Agencies place unqualified, possibly criminal caregivers in homes of vulnerable seniors Source: Marla Paul, Northwestern University, News Center, July 10, 2012 |

The Value for Money Analysis: A Guide for More Effective PSC and PPP Evaluation

Source: Dawn Bidne, Amber Kirby, Lucombo J. Luvela, Benjamin Shattuck, Sean Standley, and Stephen Welker, National Council on Public-Private Partnerships, May 2012

Fiscal constraints, declining infrastructure and increased industry specialization have led to greater interest in the government use of Public-Private Partnerships. Through these arrangements, public projects can often be designed, implemented, administered and salvaged at lower cost and risk to the public than that associated with traditional government provision. A robust and properly conducted Value for Money (VfM) analysis ensures that the selected project delivery mechanism provides greatest return on the investment of taxpayer dollars.

This document was prepared at the request of the National Council on Public-Private Partnerships to provide a guide for conducting an effective VfM analysis. The authors were graduate students at American University’s School of Public Affairs, and the guide was prepared as part of their graduate program in Public Policy. Therefore, nothing in this document should be construed as representing the official position or policies of the NCPPP; all perspectives and any opinions should be attributed solely to the authors unless otherwise cited.
See also:

Grand Rapids schools remain concerned pension overhaul will penalize them for privatizing

Source: Monica Scott,, July 18, 2012

As the Senate today debates substantial pension reform, Grand Rapids schools is concerned about a switch from funding the system based on a percentage of payroll to the cost of operating expenses, which officials say penalizes districts that privatized to cut costs.

Audit Finds Preschool Billed State Improperly

Source: David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, July 18, 2012

The owners of a fast-growing Queens company that teaches toddlers with disabilities took nearly $1.5 million from a public preschool program, paying themselves inflated salaries and rent, and billing the government for their cars, children’s furniture and even cosmetics, a state audit has found. The company’s owners, who were once married, also violated tax regulations, gave the wife’s sister a no-show job and wrongly billed the state for utility expenses incurred by a private day care business they operate on the side, investigators said….State records show that billings by the company, Bilingual SEIT and Preschool, based in Flushing, exploded over the last decade, to more than $15 million in the 2010-11 school year, from $808,935 in 2002-3. Most of its revenue comes from employing “special education itinerant teachers,” or SEITs, who work one-on-one with children in their homes or in nursery schools.