Gov. Pat McCrory wants to privatize the state’s economic development efforts and is likely to get his way. The legislature has provided initial funding for the change. But, as the Journal’s Richard Carver reported, the nonpartisan Washington research center Good Jobs First says such a change is risky. Privatization has created huge problems in several states. …
NOpinion: Public-private partnerships the wrong fix for more jobs
Source: ews & Observer, October 28, 2013
…Now the hacksaw is out for another fix. McCrory is moving to repair the state Department of Commerce by cutting off the department’s industrial recruiting, marketing, travel and tourism divisions and putting them under a new public-private nonprofit corporation known as the N.C. Partnership for Prosperity. The idea is that the partnership will free recruiters of red tape and allow for a more nimble approach to recruiting businesses to North Carolina and helping those already here to expand.
The idea is suspect on its face. Why would private business people be better at bringing in businesses than recruiters employed by the state? The answers offered by those who support the change is that the private sector knows more about business needs and has more sales and bargaining experience and that the new arrangement will allow for higher compensation for top recruiters.
The flip-side is that business people may have conflicts of interests – are they promoting what’s best for the state or what’s best for their company or industry? And adding a compensation motive for recruiters may tempt some to cut ethical corners to close a deal. Keeping watch for such abuses becomes harder when previously public functions become less public.
These concerns are not conjecture. As Rob Christensen reported in Sunday’s News & Observer, the type of public-private corporate recruitment partnership being pushed by the governor and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker has had problems in other states involving misuse of taxpayer money. …
Privatization of N.C. Commerce Department gets under way
Source: Ken Elkins- Charlotte Business Journal, Jul 31, 2013
The machinery to convert the N.C. Department of Commerce into a public-private partnership is already under way, a week after the 2013-14 state budget was approved.
… The new 39-member N.C. Economic Development Board met two weeks ago in Raleigh. It heard from Gov. McCrory and Sharon Decker, N.C. commerce secretary.