Source: By Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News (CO), March 6, 2006
Eighteen months ago, inmates rioted at a private prison in Crowley County, setting fires, smashing everything in two cell houses and seriously damaging another three. More than 100 officers were needed to stop the violence, which injured 13. A state investigation blamed the riot on mismanagement by Corrections Corp. of America, the prison’s owner. The company had 33 guards overseeing 1,122 inmates when the riot began. The state Department of Corrections tightened its contract with CCA to require more and better trained staff. Now, the company has a major advantage in bidding for 2,250 new private prison beds that Colorado urgently needs for its soaring number of convicts.
Source: Connecticut Post, March 3, 2006
……… While the Democrats made some concessions in this third attempt — such as exempting nonprofit agencies from the privatization restrictions — the bill approved Wednesday still contains language that Rell administration officials contend was almost certainly written by state employee unions. In the end, the privatization restrictions could end up costing state taxpayers more money for the same services. That’s because the bill would require a cost-benefit analysis of all privatized contracts and require that the private workers receive pay and benefits that compare to those earned by state employees performing similar jobs.
Source: Lisa M. Collins, The Detroit News (MI), March 2, 2006
Following a week of heated public debate over the future of the Detroit Zoo, the Detroit City Council on Wednesday approved a deal to hand over management of the 75-year-old facility to the Detroit Zoological Society — laying to rest public concerns that the zoo may close. Now the zoo must work to find other sources of funding to help pay for its $20 million a year average expenses. The zoo is one of Metro Detroit’s most popular attractions, with about 1 million visitors a year, including about 20 percent from Detroit and 25 percent from Oakland County. ….. Detroit will give the zoo $10 million in capital improvement dollars and spend $900,000 for security and insurance as part of the deal adopted Wednesday.
Source: BY NICKLAUS LOVELADY, News-Democrat (IL), Thu, Mar. 02, 2006
EDWARDSVILLE – The Madison County Institutions Committee voted Wednesday to study a new concept that would keep the Sheltered Care Home in Edwardsville operated by the county. The committee decided to shelve a proposal privatizing the mental health housing services under Chestnut Health Systems, because the county faced a huge legal hurdle with shelter care workers. A 1999 contract between the county and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees prohibits the county to sell the home without having to continue paying union workers.
Source: By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press (CT), March 2, 2006, 1:30 AM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. — Despite a threatened veto by Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, the Democrat-controlled legislature passed a major contracting reform bill Wednesday for the third time. Democrats said the bill creates clear standards to guide the process for all state contracts in the wake of a corruption scandal that besieged former Gov. John G. Rowland’s administration. But Republicans said part of the bill goes too far, making it nearly impossible for Rell to outsource state services.
Source: Associated Press (TX), 03/01/2006
The reorganization of Texas’ health and human services system saved the state about $962 million over the past two years, nearly $173 million less than expected, officials said Wednesday. The massive overhaul approved by the Legislature in 2003 was supposed to save Texas $1.1 billion by August 2005, according to a fiscal analysis given to lawmakers three years ago. ….. The state also expected to save nearly $35 million through the implementation of a new eligibility system and the opening of call centers around the state, he said. Because the project was delayed, nothing was saved in 2004 and 2005, but Hawkins said he expects significant savings this year and in the future. …. The commission is replacing 99 of its 310 eligibility offices with four call centers run by Accenture, a technology consulting firm. It hired another company to take over its payroll and human resources operations.
Source: By POLLY ROSS HUGHES, Houston Chronicle (TX), March 1, 2006, 11:25PM
AUSTIN – A state senator who is also a family physician raised questions Wednesday about the state’s privately contracted call centers that are supposed to screen applicants for social services statewide by the end of this year. Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, asked Health and Human Services Commissioner Albert Hawkins how he remains confident in the giant out- sourcing firm Accenture in the face of ongoing computer-compatibility problems. ….. The call-center system will eventually spread statewide and has been widely criticized by state workers losing their jobs to privatization and scrutinized by social services advocates who worry that clients will be hurt by a privately run system.
Source: By Ethan Butterfield, Washington Technology, 01/24/06
Spurred by the need to replace outdated systems and to offset anticipated future government IT workforce shortages, state and local governments are expected to increase their spending on IT outsourcing from $10 billion in fiscal 2005 to $18 billion by fiscal 2010, according to a report released today by market research firm Input. Aging IT systems and the nearing-retirement-age workforce will be major factors that drive growth as much as 75 percent over the next five years, according to Input Inc., Reston, Va.
Source: By Ethan Butterfield, Washington Technology, 01/25/06
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted this week to finalize a seven-year, $667 million contract for Northrop Grumman Corp. to take over the county’s IT and telecommunications operations. Northrop Grumman replaces Computer Science Corp. as the incumbent contractor on the project. Terms of the contract call for Northrop Grumman IT of McLean, Va., to oversee San Diego County’s data center, help desk, desktop, network, applications and cross-functional IT and telecommunications services.
Source: By Jennifer Vigil, San Diego Union Tribune (CA), February 27, 2006
Outsourcing has become a buzzword in cash-strapped San Diego. …… A form of it – managed competition, which would pit public employees against private firms – has become a key piece of what Mayor Jerry Sanders calls his “reform agenda at City Hall,” portions of which will be reviewed by the City Council at 2 p.m. today. A city street-repair program hints at what managed competition in San Diego could be like. The task fell to contracted crews two years ago, when 16 city employees were laid off. It later was found that the costs of paying private firms to do the work could exceed those generated by city employees by $1.9 million. ….. Joan Raymond, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 127, which would represent the workers, said some city divisions already have programs in place to ensure their costs are in line with industry standards.