Category Archives: Insourcing/municipalization

Call for public defender overhaul / Patrick seeks to end costly use of private lawyers for the indigent

Source: Andrea Estes, Boston Globe, January 24, 2011

Governor Deval Patrick wants to eliminate the use of private attorneys to represent indigent defendants, an entrenched $200 million system that has been attacked as unfair by prosecutors across the state.

The sweeping measure, which will be contained in the governor’s fiscal year 2012 budget, would end the state’s practice of farming out roughly 90 percent of the work defending poor clients in criminal cases. The state instead would hire about 1,000 full-time staff attorneys to replace the 3,000 private lawyers the state draws on to represent poor people.

Administration officials say the change could slash at least $45 million from the $207 million budget for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the state’s public defender agency.

City of L.A. takes over golf-cart rentals at municipal courses

Source: Rick Orlov, Daily Breeze, January 3, 2011

Despite objections from Los Angeles’ golfing community, the city took over golf-cart rentals at municipal courses over the New Year’s weekend in a move to boost revenue and keep city employees working….Ward said the city is employing 35 workers to run the golf cart operation, which had been handled for the last 40 years by J.H. Kishi Co. …A lawsuit has been filed to challenge the city’s move by Ready Golf, a private firm recommended to take over the concessions back in 2007 when Ready outbid J.H. Kishi. …The decision to use city employees came as way to find jobs and more hours of work for those who were faced either with layoffs or furloughs. But Ward said he also believes it will bring more money into city coffers. Last March, the city took over handling of the golf cart fees and saw its revenue increase by 14 percent.

Dunbar High’s private operator ousted; ex-principal to return

Source: Bill Turque, Washington Post, December 8, 2010

Interim D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson ousted the private, New York-based operator of Dunbar Senior High School on Wednesday, less than three years after former schools chief Michelle A. Rhee hired it to transform the culture and academic performance of the struggling school.

Henderson’s removal of Friends of Bedford comes after a series of complaints from parents, teachers and other community members about safety, security and academics at the 750-student school in Northwest. She has said that during her visits to the school, she saw students roaming the halls and classrooms without teachers….Henderson’s action underscores the extreme difficulty of high school turnarounds – especially involving operators who try to transplant their success into new soil in a different city.
Dunbar High worse off since contractor’s hiring
Source: Bill Turque, Washington Post, December 15, 2010;

Innovative Plan To Keep Yosemite Clinic Open

Source: Diana Marcum, California Healthline, December 06, 2010

The medical clinic in Yosemite National Park was never your average clinic. For instance, there was that time bears made themselves at home in the lunch room. In January, the clinic will pass another noteworthy milestone: It will become the first medical clinic in a national park to be operated by the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. It’s an unusual solution to a problem that threatened to leave the storied tourist draw without a clinic. Tenet — the Dallas-based investor-owned hospital company that’s owned the clinic since 1995 — has been losing money on the facility every year. Doctors Medical Center, a Tenet-owned hospital in Modesto, has been running the clinic as a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week outpatient center. It is leaving when its contract expires Dec. 31. No new takers stepped forward….

…The two agencies — Public Health Service and the National Park Service — will man the clinic together. The health service is providing doctors and nurses, and the park service is providing building maintenance and support staff. Corps doctors and nurses usually serve on American Indian reservations or remote areas where doctors are hard to find (think Dr. Joel Fleischman of the T.V. Show “Northern Exposure”). The doctors and nurses who will work in Yosemite’s clinic will wear uniforms and have military titles.
Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
“Yosemite National Park Selects Operator for Medical Clinic” news release
Socialized medicine comes to Yosemite

Rick Scott’s plan to slash prison spending called a ‘hoax,’ ‘shell game’

Source: Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald, September 23, 2010

TALLAHASSEE — Rick Scott’s plan to curtail state spending and create 700,000 new jobs includes slashing $1 billion from the prison budget by cutting salaries, reducing health care costs and expanding inmate-run vegetable farms….In his campaign literature, Scott proposes to model Florida after Texas by “reducing per-prisoner costs to Texas’ level.” That worries the PBA, because Texas pays a first-year prison guard about $3,000 a year less than Florida’s starting salary of $31,000….Scott’s plan also would require prisons to grow more of their own food for inmates to eat, but prison officials say that would provide minor cost savings. The agency fired two private food service vendors two years ago and now cooks all prison meals in house to save money.
See also:
Prison spending plays major role in debate over projected state budget deficit (Updated)
Source: Travis Pillow, Florida Independent, 12.07.10
Prison dilemma awaits Scott / Goal is to find savings without seeming soft on crime
Source: Lloyd Dunkelberger, Herald-Tribune, December 12, 2010
Scott’s corrections budget calls for more private prisons
Source:Travis Pillow, Florida Independent, 02.08.11

Commentary: Defense Department’s approach to in-sourcing has unintended consequences

Source: By Stan Soloway, Washington Post, Monday, July 19, 2010


The debate over the degree to which federal agencies have hired contractors for work more appropriately performed within the government has become increasingly prominent. It has been further fueled by statutory requirements that agencies consider in-sourcing almost anything they have ever outsourced.

…. The Office of Management and Budget has also directed agencies to conduct meaningful cost analyses before insourcing positions that do not have to be performed by government employees. However, internal documents suggest that the Defense Department is often significantly underestimating the costs of performing work with federal employees because their analyses are limited primarily to immediate wages and benefits, plus a small amount of overhead expense, rather than the entire set of identifiable costs being assumed by the taxpayer.

MassDOT considering more in-house road plowing

Source: By GLEN JOHNSON, The Associated Press (MA)  June 21, 2010, 12:15PM

Transportation officials are examining how much money Massachusetts might save if they have state employees do more highway snow removal instead of the current patchwork of private contractors.

Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan said Monday the $57.5 million the state is preparing to spend this coming winter is ripe for scrutiny because it’s one of his bigger budget line items. And that figure is below historical averages: Massachusetts spent $66 million for plowing last winter and has spent an average of $76 million annually during the past five years.

State Wants Better Food for Inmates

 Source: (KY)  01/21/2010

One Kentucky State Representative has introduced a bill to improve the quality and quantity of the food at all of the state’s prison, but critics say it’s costly and unnecessary. This was the scene last August when inmates rioted at Northpoint Prison near Danville. State Rep. Brent Yonts believes one of the main causes for this uprising was food.

Right now, a private company, Aramark, provides the inmates meals, so he is proposing a bill that would put the state back in control.

Taking It Back / Transitioning from private to municipal waste collection.

Source: John Culbertson, Waste Age, May 1, 2008 12:00 PM,

Conventional Wisdom holds that we are in the midst of a slow but steady march towards privatization of municipal solid waste and recycling collection services. Several sources — most of them industry-sponsored, but also independent organizations like the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation — have long touted the benefits of privatization, such as higher productivity, flexible compensation programs to motivate labor, dedicated focus on maintaining solid waste fleets and higher utilization of capital assets. But what are the benefits of going in the other direction? Could a city or county justify converting from a contracted collection service to public collection?

How to insource / A blueprint for bringing food service back in-house

Source: Mona Sonnenshein and Carol
Sherman, Modern
, April 20, 2009 – 5:59 am


In October 2006, the chief operating
officer for the University of
California at San Diego Medical Center wanted to evaluate the medical
center’s outsourced food and nutrition services for both quality and financial
improvements. A consultant, who had worked successfully with this senior
administrator before, was hired to evaluate the facility’s current operation,
including the ability of the department to meet current and future needs of the
medical center and assess the possibilities for cost containment and service
modification through changes in the department.

….. Through the transition to
in-house management, approximately $1.6 million was saved from the annual
operating budget, and services were improved after a seamless