Category Archives: Cataloged

Report states Sodexo overbilled San Juan College

Source: Joshua Kellogg, The Daily Times, August 25, 2015

A Monday report from the Office of the State Auditor lists several findings related to overbilling and invoices lacking proper documentation in regard to a food service provider’s contract with San Juan College. … Litke said the review found that invoices provided by Sodexo were listed by category but did not provide details or supporting documentation. He said Sodexo now provides additional documentation with each monthly invoice. Litke said he found the more than $16,000 in charges that lacked documentation a little disconcerting. But Sodexo has provided the missing documentation to the college since the report was issued, he said. One of the items listed in the finding was $19,826 Sodexo billed the college in February 2014 for relocation costs for the company’s general manager to move from Wyoming to New Mexico. According to the report, Sodexo did not seek the required approval of the college before approving the request.

Read Report 973-S from the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor.

Buying Access: How Corporations Influence Decision Makers at Corrections Conferences, Trainings, and Meetings

Source: In the Public Interest, August 6, 2015

Private corrections companies, which contract with corrections departments and facilities to oversee and provide services to incarcerated people, make up a multibillion-dollar industry. Every year, they devote resources to building influence with decision makers in order to find and capitalize on new business opportunities. One key avenue of influence is through professional corrections associations, which are non-profit organizations that support corrections officials, including wardens, administrators, state Department of Corrections staff, sheriffs, and others through events, trainings, and public policy advocacy. This report first details how companies spend millions of dollars sponsoring conferences, paying vendor fees, and providing other funding to gain access to the professional corrections associations. This report then shows how corrections companies leverage this access in ways that can influence decision makers and benefit the companies’ bottom lines.

Read the full report.

Inmate articulates concerns about conditions at Michigan Prison

Source: Elizabeth Hewitt,, August 2, 2015

One month after Vermont inmates arrived at a privately run prison facility in northern Michigan, an inmate is voicing concerns about the conditions there. … The state recently terminated a contract with the Corrections Corporation of America, and began using a new for-profit prison company, the GEO Group Inc., based in Michigan. Last month, 280 Vermont prisoners were transferred by air from two facilities in Kentucky and Arizona to a single correctional facility in Baldwin, Michigan. … Bryer writes that there was no process for sick calls when inmates first arrived, and that medical services are not available at all on weekends and holidays. There are no windows in the building, and inmates get one hour of outdoor recreation a day, Bryer says. Some items in the commissary cost double what they did at the CCA facility in Kentucky, according to Bryer, and he says there are no curtains for the showers….


Editorial: Profiting from prisons
Source: Toledo Blade, June 11, 2015

Nobody doubts that Michigan needs more jobs. But setting up a privatized penal colony for some of the nation’s most dangerous inmates is not the way to treat them. In a fit of bad judgment, Michigan lawmakers narrowly passed a bill last month that would allow GEO, a multinational private correctional services provider, to bring some of the most dangerous offenders from Vermont and Washington state and house them in the former “punk prison” in Baldwin. The prison is in northern Michigan’s rural Lake County, one of the state’s poorest. … Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder reportedly has not yet decided whether to sign this bill. He should instead strike a blow for common sense and decency and veto it, without further delay.

Second private sector prison company, with a bad track record, vying for a piece of Michigan
Source: Tim Skubick,, May 20, 2015

…. Enter the GEO Group, a private prison company which operates some 85,000 beds around the country and it wants to add Michigan to its roster. A bill would hire the Florida firm to reopen the moth-balled so-called Punk Prison in Baldwin. …. What appeared to be a fast track effort has been slowed down to a crawl in the Senate, where some have raised concerns about the possible “warehousing” of inmates and whether they are given rehab services. That from Sen. Patrick Colebeck, R-Plymouth. GEO is no stranger to Michigan as it ran the original punk prison and various state agencies concluded it was more expensive than many of the other facilities and by closing it, the state would save over $7 million. The company complained the auditor general’s report was “skewed.” It was finally shuttered but GEO is back for another bite of the prison apple which some folks feel is poisoned. ….

Vermont DOC Moving Out-of-State Inmates to Michigan
Source: Steph Machado, My Champlain Valley, May 19, 2015

Vermont will be moving 318 prisoners from Kentucky and Arizona to Michigan. The Department of Corrections announced a new contract with the company GEO, which owns the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, Michigan. The inmates are currently in facilities owned by CCA, whose contract with Vermont is expiring. …. The state will be paying GEO less than it paid CCA–about $600,000 less annually, at the current out-of-state population of 318. ….

Bill to open private prison clears state House
Source: Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, May 7, 2015

GEO Group officials say allowing the company to house prisoners from other states with the highest security levels would give them the flexibility they need to make the prison economically viable. …. A bill that’s expected to allow Michigan’s former “punk prison” to open as a privately run adult facility housing prisoners from other states passed the state House in a narrow vote Thursday. House Bill 4467 was approved 57-53, and now moves on to the Senate. The bill removes a restriction that prevents the Florida-based GEO Group, which wants to reopen and operate the former private youth prison near Baldwin, from accepting prisoners with the highest security levels — those above Level 4. …. As proposed, the bill would also allow GEO to take inmates from Michigan prisons, but the company says that’s not part of its plans. A Michigan Department of Corrections official said that the state has no interest in sending Michigan inmates to the private prison. ….

Michigan House votes to let private prison house high-security inmates from other states
Source: Jonathan Oosting,, May 7, 2015

The Michigan House on Thursday narrowly approved legislation aimed to help one of the country’s largest private prison companies bring out-of-state inmates to its shuttered facility in Baldwin. House Bill 4467, approved in a 57-53 vote, would allow The GEO Group Inc. to house Level V high-security inmates at the now-empty North Lake Correctional Facility…. State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, spoke out against the bill, calling it “a form of backdoor privatization of state prisons” because it would also allow the state to house Level V inmates there, if it chooses to at a later date. Singh also said that GEO Group has “a spotty track record across the country, but also here in the state of Michigan.” He pointed to a 2005 Michigan audit, fines for understaffing in New Mexico, a prisoner escape in Arizona, and a scathing Justice Department report about a Mississippi youth prison that GEO Group took over in late 2010. ….

Bill would allow private prison near Baldwin to re-open
Source: Paul Egan, Lansing State Journal, April 23, 2015

The former “punk prison” near Baldwin would re-open as a private prison housing adult inmates from other states, bringing about 150 jobs to one of the most economically depressed areas of the state, under a bill taken up Thursday by a House committee. As proposed, the bill would also allow the prison, operated by the Florida-baed GEO Group, to take inmates from Michigan prisons, but the company says that’s not part of its plans and a Michigan Department of Corrections official said the state has no interest in sending Michigan inmates to the private prison, which has been closed for about four years. House Bill 4467 would remove a restriction that prevents GEO from accepting prisoners with the highest security levels — those above Level 4. GEO officials say allowing the company to also bring Level 5 and Level 6 prisoners from other states would give them the flexibility they need to make the prison economically viable…. The prison near Baldwin opened as a private youth prison in 1998 under former Gov. John Engler, a Republican. Ot closed in 2005, under former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, amid reports it was too costly to run and neglected the health and educational needs of its young inmates. Later, under the GEO Group, it briefly housed inmates from California, with the restrictions in place on the security levels of the inmates, but closed in 2011….

Federal Beds To Keep More Vermont Prisoners In Kentucky
Source: Laura Krantz, VT Digger, January 19, 2015

A deal in the works to house more federal inmates in Vermont prisons will hamper the state’s effort to reduce the number of local prisoners incarcerated in Kentucky and Arizona, the corrections commissioner said Monday. Vermont contracts with the U.S. Marshals Service to house up to 40 federal prisoners in Vermont prisons. The feds pay the state $129 per prisoner per day. … The deal will be good for the state’s pocketbook, but bad for the DOC’s goal of reducing the number of prisoners it houses with private prison contractor Corrections Corporation of America.

Advocates renew push to keep inmates in VT
Source: Terri Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff, August 17, 2014

…. A group of advocates is making a push to halt the long trips, the separation of inmates from family and the use of a for-profit company to house prisoners. About 25 people gathered in Burlington on a recent evening to strategize how to keep Vermont from renewing the out-of-state prison contract with Corrections Corporation of America when it comes due next year. … The group plans to launch a drive Sept. 22 titled “Locked Up & Shipped Away” and hopes to collect petitions from the Vermonters urging public officials to stop sending Vermont inmates out of state, Wizowaty said. Group members also plan to organize efforts to ask political candidates for their support at candidate forums through the fall. The group plans to hold organizational meetings in the coming weeks in Burlington, Montpelier and Brattleboro. … Wizowaty wants to halt or shorten the state’s next contract for out-of-state prison beds. Time and simple short-term math are working against her, but the state is looking for new options with a new contract. … Richard Byrne, the state Corrections Department’s out-of-state unit supervisor, said he is in the process of sending notices to states, counties and private prison operators that might have space. The state likely will put out a formal request for proposals in September to replace the existing four-year CCA contract, which expires June 30. … As of last week, because the state’s own prison were full, Vermont had 482 inmates serving time in two out-of-state prisons run by Corrections Corporation of America: 444 in Beattyville, Ky., and 38 in Florence, Ariz.

Defense Acquisitions: How and Where DOD Spends Its Contracting Dollars

Source: Moshe Schwartz, Wendy Ginsberg, and John F. Sargent, Jr., Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R44010, April 30, 2015

Summary: …In FY2014, DOD obligated more money on federal contracts ($285 billion) than all other government agencies combined. DOD’s obligations were equal to 8% of federal spending. … This report examines (1) how much money DOD obligates on contracts, (2) what DOD is buying, and (3) where that money is being spent….

Read full report.

Lessons from laundry privatization: Why freedom of information matters in the era of privatization

Source: Tria Donaldson and Cheryl Stadnichuk,, July 27, 2015

Everywhere privatization has occurred, public access to the facts and figures around privatization has been a challenge. Here in Saskatchewan, that challenge can been illustrated by the difficulty of getting information about the privatization of hospital laundry. The cloak of secrecy was delt a major blow last week when the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner recommended the disclosure of a 10-year contract for laundry services between K-Bro Linen Systems and 3sHealth. The Commissioner also recommended that the publicly-funded 3sHealth be brought under legislation as a health care organization and subsequently freedom of information laws….The decision to privatize hospital laundry services is a major restructuring of our health-care system. It means the loss of about 350 jobs in six communities and the loss of publicly-provided and local laundry services. University of Winnipeg economist, Hugh Grant, estimated a net loss in provincial income between $14 and $42 million over the next 10 years from laundry privatization….Public access to documents through freedom of information legislation is critical to accountability and transparency.

But privatization presents hurdles to public knowledge. In this case, 3sHealth and K-Bro Linen refused to publicly disclose the 10-year contract claiming the information was a “trade secret” and that its disclosure would cause economic harm…..The Ministry responded that “[t]he Ministry has performed a search for this record and has determined that this record does not exist within the Ministry of Health.” Four of the health regions responded that “no record exists.”

It is shocking that health regions who will have to monitor K-Bro’s laundry services and pay the bills did not have a copy of the contract.


New Privacy Commissioner report a victory for transparency; CUPE calls for changes in FOI legislation in response
Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees, July 24, 2015

Attempts by 3sHealth to prevent public disclosure and transparency on the privatization of hospital laundry services have been dealt with a major blow by the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner in a new report that calls for public disclosure of a fully unredacted contract with K-Bro Linen. “CUPE has been trying to get a public copy of the contract with K-Bro Linen since it was signed in December 2013,” said Cheryl Stadnichuk, CUPE Researcher. “Both 3sHealth and K-Bro went to great lengths to prevent disclosure of this contract.” After unsuccessful attempts to get a copy of the 10-year K-Bro contract from the Ministry of Health, who claimed it did not have a copy, CUPE filed access to information requests to five health regions. All health regions, except for Sunrise Health Region, replied that they did not have the record. Sunrise offered a costing model template and requested a copy of the contract from 3sHealth, who denied the request. A heavily censored copy of the contract was provided to CUPE by 3sHealth only after a formal review had commenced. The review culminated in today’s report, which recommends full disclosure of both documents. “When dealing with our government, or one of its agencies, an unfortunate pattern seems to have developed,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Requests for information are simply denied or the information that is released is heavily censored. It is time for us to seriously consider making changes to freedom of information legislation to ensure openness and transparency in government.” CUPE is calling for 3sHealth to be included under freedom of information legislation – a move in line with the report’s recommendation that 3sHealth be made a “health care organization” under the Regional Health Services Act. “3sHealth plays a major role in the provision and restructuring of health care services,” added Graham. “3sHealth is funded by public dollars but is not covered by LAFOIP and is not subject to the same public scrutiny as other publicly-funded health organizations. This must change.” “This report is a victory for democratic accountability and transparency,” said Stadnichuk. “Saskatchewan people deserve the opportunity to view all contracts for privatizing services to monitor the full costs.” “Disclosure is especially important in this case, since we’re dealing with a ten-year contract in an industry notorious for cost overruns,” added Stadnichuk. Public statements in B.C. show that payments to two laundry corporations that hold the monopoly on service to health authorities in the Lower Mainland increased by a staggering 170 per cent over a seven-year period. Critics of the agreement with K-Bro in Saskatchewan have raised concerns about possible cost overruns because of unrealistic cost valuations.

Read the full report (082-2015) here.

Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain: The Privatization of Hospital Laundry Services in Saskatchewan
Source: Hugh Grant, Manish Pandey, James Townsend, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, December 2014

From the abstract:
The government’s plan to privatize hospital laundry services will have a negative impact on Saskatchewan’s local economies. The decision to close five regional laundries and centralize laundry services through Alberta-based K-Bro Linen will decrease the income of the residents of Saskatchewan between $14 and $42 million over the next 10 years in comparison to public options. The laundry plant closure in Prince Albert alone will result in 74 jobs lost, cause a decline in labour income of $2.5 million in the region, and a decline in regional GDP of $3.7 million. Privatization will also redistribute income away from workers and other residents of the province in favour of a private corporation whose major shareholders reside outside of the province. That is the conclusion of a new report by University of Winnipeg economists Hugh Grant, Manish Pandey and James Townsend. “Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain: The Privatization of Hospital Laundry Services in Saskatchewan” concludes that while privatization may garner limited, short-term savings, the long-term costs borne by Saskatchewan residents will be significantly higher.

Follow-Up — California Department of Developmental Services

Source: California State Auditor, July 2015

The California Department of Developmental Services (Developmental Services) continues to miss an opportunity for ensuring that regional centers comply with one of the Legislature’s cost-containment directives under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Lanterman Act). Californians with developmental disabilities (consumers) may obtain community-based services via California’s network of 21 regional centers—private, nonprofit organizations receiving primary funding and oversight from Developmental Services. Determining what services are needed and which vendors are used for these services is primarily a joint decision, one that the consumer, the consumer’s family or representatives if needed, and the regional center staff make….the Legislature and the governor focused on reducing costs under the Lanterman Act by enacting an indefinite rate freeze and adjustable rate ceilings, which became effective in February 2008, on what regional centers could pay vendors. They also subsequently required in July 2009 that regional centers procure services from the least costly vendor of comparable service that can meet the needs of the consumer….This follow-up audit shows that some of the Legislature’s previous cost-containment measures are being successfully implemented based on our review of 200 expenditures that five regional centers collectively incurred. However, it remains unclear whether regional centers and their planning teams are consistently reviewing vendor cost when state law requires them to do so.

Nassau seeing lower-than-expected savings as union workers shun jobs with private sewer operator

Source: Paul Larocco,, July 19, 2015

Six months after Nassau turned over management of its massive sewer system to a private operator, few public employees have agreed to work for the company, raising questions about whether the county will achieve savings significantly beyond what’s minimally guaranteed in the contract. New Jersey-based United Water began running the county’s three major wastewater treatment plants, 53 pumping stations and 3,000 miles of sewers on Jan. 2. About 300 county workers were budgeted to staff the system in the year before the changeover, and according to the union that represents them, only four or five have taken jobs with United Water. “Guys didn’t want to lose their pensions,” said Jerry Laricchiuta, president of the Civil Service Employee Association, Nassau’s largest public union. The reluctance of CSEA members – protected against layoffs under the United Water deal – to take private-sector jobs has left Nassau to rely, for almost all its projected savings, on the $10 million a year the company must reimburse it


Nassau picks contractor for advice on sewer privatization
Source: Robert Brodsky,, June 24, 2015

Nassau has agreed to pay $45,000 a month to an outside consultant to negotiate the lease of its sewer system to a private investor in a deal that could net the county an estimated $750 million, according to contract documents. KPMG, an international audit, tax and advisory firm, will assist Nassau

Questions surround sewer plant transition
Source: Laura Schofer, LI Herald, November 29, 2914

The Cedar Creek wastewater treatment plan on the Seaford-Wantagh border will soon by run by United Water. The public-private partnership between United Water and Nassau County has been touted as a way to save the county money and improve wastewater infrastructure, but for the county workers at Cedar Creek, the transition process has been bumpy. In an Oct. 29 memo from Jerry Laricchiuta, president of Nassau Local 830 of the Civil Service Employees Association, to DPW members at Bay Park and Cedar Creek, wrote that the application from United Water has “contractual conflicts as well as inconsistencies within the sewer agreement we entered into on May 12, 2012.” In particular, the application process asks employees to be urine tested and have other medical exams that “goes against our own CSEA-county contract,” Laricchiuta wrote.And, when some CSEA employees refused to fill out the application, they were threatened with disciplinary action. … Nassau County signed a 20-year agreement in September with United Water to operate, manage and maintain the county’s wastewater treatment plants including Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove, its pumping stations and sewers. …
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Corizon Health Inc. implementing changes to reduce workplace violence hazards for employees at its locations /Settlement with US Labor Department follows Rikers Island OSHA citations

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Region 2 News Release: Press Release, BOS 2015-135, July 1, 2015

Corizon Health Inc., which provides medical, dental and mental-health services to inmates at correctional facilities nationwide, including the Rikers Island facility in New York City, will implement changes to reduce workplace violence hazards for employees at its locations.
Part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, the changes resolve citations issued by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In August 2014, OSHA cited Corizon for failing to develop and implement an effective program to prevent workplace violence for its Rikers Island employees. Corizon initially contested the citations, but has withdrawn that contest as part of the settlement agreement.

After critical probe, NYC drops jail health care contractor
Source: Jake Pearson, Associated Press, June 11, 2015

New York City on Wednesday dropped the private company that delivers health care in its jails after a year of scrutiny over high-profile deaths of mentally ill inmates and a city probe that found the company hired felons and provided questionable care. Corizon Health Inc.’s contract, which is set to expire Dec. 31, won’t be renewed and instead the city’s public hospital system will run medical and mental health care for the roughly 70,000 inmates who pass through Rikers Island and other city jails every year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. …. The DOI report released Wednesday takes an in-depth look at Corizon’s hiring practices, concluding that its background checks of new hires – which in some cases were nonexistent – failed to fully account for prospective workers’ financial, criminal and professional histories, leaving them susceptible to corruption.

DOI Report Finds Significant Breakdowns by Corizon Health Inc. Failures in Employee Screening and Mental Health Treatment of Inmates in City Jails
Source: City of New York, Department of Investigation, Press Release, Release 16-2015, June 10, 2015

Today, Department of Investigation (“DOI”) Commissioner Mark G. Peters issued a critical review of Corizon Health Inc. (“Corizon”), a private company contracted by the City to provide medical and mental health services in Rikers Island jails. The Report highlighted acute failures in Corizon’s hiring processes and treatment of mentally ill inmates. The investigation also revealed the City’s Department of Correction (“DOC”) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“DOHMH”), both responsible for supervising Corizon, failed to properly oversee the company’s hiring and supervision of clinical staff. DOI’s Report follows this release and can also be found at: …. DOI began its investigation after arresting a Corizon nurse in September 2014 and charging him with taking bribes to smuggle in tobacco and alcohol. Over the last six months, DOI investigators reviewed thousands of pages of documents and conducted surveillance of and site visits to 28 of 30 housing areas reserved for inmates needing mental health treatment. DOI found Corizon failed to provide adequate care to inmates, including improperly removing inmates from court-ordered suicide watch, failing to supervise inmates with serious mental illnesses, and poorly supervising inmates while they took medications, including psychiatric prescriptions. DOI’s Report found that two of these inmates died. One of those instances is now under criminal review by DOI and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office…….

Violence in the Workplace: American Horror Story
Source: Jordan Barab, National Law Review, August 18, 2014

The setting: Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City
The scene: A group of inmates gather around a cell where an employee has been locked in a cell, while other inmates pass around a ‘hit list’ of other employees they plan to target.

This is not a scene from a crime drama, like Oz or Law & Order, but rather the daily reality for a group of medical, dental and psychiatric professionals contracted by Corizon Health Inc. to provide services at Rikers Island. These employees are threatened, punched in the face, kicked and knocked unconscious with surprising and horrifying regularity. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at Rikers to investigate incidents like the ones described above, an additional six reports of workplace violence were made. …

Corizon Health Cited for Inadequate Safeguards at Rikers Island
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, August 10, 2014

According to a DOL news release, Corizon Health Inc. knowingly failed to protect its employees adequately against workplace violence and assault. The medical, dental, and psychiatric provider was inspected by OSHA and new faces $71,000 in fines. OSHA has cited Corizon for one willful violation for allegedly failing to develop and implement an effective workplace violence prevention program for its employees at Rikers Island.

Rikers Health Contractor Fined for Worker Assaults
Source: Michael Schwirtz, New York Times, August 7, 2014

The New York City contractor that provides medical and mental health services to inmates at Rikers Island was issued the highest level of censure by the federal Labor Department on Thursday for failing to protect employees from violence at the jail complex. A six-month investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is overseen by the department, found that the contractor, Corizon Health Inc., “failed to address the serious problem of assaults against its employees,” Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York, said in a statement. The agency fined Corizon $71,000 and issued a “willful violation” against the company, because it was aware of the problem and failed to do anything about it, said Andre J. Bowser, a spokesman for the agency….

Corizon Health Inc. cited for inadequate workplace violence safeguards at Rikers Island correctional facility in New York – US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $71,000 in fines
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Region 2 News Release: 14-1409-NEW, August 7, 2014

Corizon Health Inc., which provides medical, dental and psychiatric services to inmates at the Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City, knowingly failed to protect its employees adequately against workplace violence and assault, an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. The company faces $71,000 in fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Manhattan Area Office that began Feb. 7, 2014, in response to a complaint.
OSHA cited Corizon for one willful violation for failing to develop and implement an effective workplace violence prevention program for its employees at Rikers. A willful violation is one committed with intentional or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Building a Shared Services Marketplace: Recommendations from the Shared Services Roundtable

Source: Ellen Perlman, Partnership for Public Service, March 2015

How can the federal government develop an innovative, scalable and competitive shared services marketplace? That’s what the Shared Services Roundtable, a community of private and federal stakeholders dedicated to improving the state of shared services in government, examined in the new report, “Building a Shared Services Marketplace.” The Roundtable, which is convened by the Partnership for Public Service, provides recommendations and frameworks for how our government can move toward a shared services marketplace in the next two years.

This report builds on a paper produced by the Shared Services Roundtable, “Building a Shared Services Marketplace: Recommendations for a Government-Wide Approach,” which outlines a series of recommendations to create a viable and robust marketplace for shared services.

This report expands on those recommendations and provides frameworks for how the federal government can move toward a shared services marketplace in the next two years. For the purposes of this report, shared services includes everything from agencies sharing support services for a single line of business (LOB) to several support and mission-critical functions shared across departments or between agencies, through a federal or commercial shared services provider.

Key recommendations:
• Create a new governance structure to guide strategy and management of federal shared services
• Create an effective market infrastructure and leverage innovative service acquisition models
• Establish a standardized performance assessment model
• Implement an interactive government-wide catalog of services and providers

More Headaches than it’s Worth: Assessing Privatized and Semi-Privatized Waste Collection

Source: David Campanella, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, June 2015

A review of international econometrics studies on the pros and cons of privatization and semi-privatization waste collection suggests full privatization can cause more headaches than it’s worth. The review of decades’ worth of studies concludes there is no empirical evidence to support the claim that privatizing waste collection services is more cost efficient. The academic literature points to two key factors that end up being costly for governments who fully privatize waste collection: lack of competition in the waste collection sector and large, often unaccounted for administrative costs required to deal with private firms.

This study reviews econometrics studies of privatization and semi-privatization of solid waste collection in the U.S., the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, and in Canada. The conclusion of decades of empirical research is that there is no clear connection between private waste collection and cost reduction. When all the relevant factors are included, it appears that privatization is often more of a headache than it’s worth. What’s the number one reason U.S. city managers cite for reversing a decision to privatize services? Insufficient cost savings. In solid waste collection, studies reveal that any initial cost savings tend to diminish over time, and that cost savings have become increasingly less likely.

There are two main reasons why private waste collection fails to reduce municipal costs:
1. A widespread lack of competition; and
2. Large and often unaccounted for administrative costs from dealing with private firms.