Source: By Kathleen Baydala, Clarion Ledger (MS), January 31, 2006
South Jackson resident Brenda Carson, 61, said her husband, on more than one occasion, has chased garbagemen down the street, demanding they come back and pick up their trash. “We practically gift wrap our trash, and it still takes two or three weeks sometimes before they pick it up,” Carson said. Thelman Boyd, director of the city’s public works department, said the city also is dissatisfied with the quality of garbage removal service and is considering fining its trash and leaf collection contractor for not doing a good job. “We’ve had reports that garbage trucks missed whole streets,” he said. The city’s contract with Waste Management of Mississippi allows the city to assess fines for failure to collect solid waste within 24 hours of a complaint, failure to clean up trash spilled by garbage men and other service breaches. Fines range from $25 to $500 per incident.
Source: BY GARRY LENTON, The Patriot-News (PA), Sunday, January 29, 2006
Veteran guards responsible for training new hires to the security force that protects Three Mile Island were sharing a key piece of insider information — the best places to take a nap, according to an internal memo. “We have mentors and qualified officers informing new hires of all the locations that they can hide and catch a quick nap,” wrote John Young, the head of security at TMI for Wackenhut, a private security force employed by the plant. ….. The memo, sent to security supervisors at the nuclear power plant on Oct. 17, also maintained that new hires were being told of shortcuts for tasks and warned of the “horrors” of working for Wackenhut. ….. Guards at TMI work 12-hour shifts, usually for two to three consecutive days, but sometimes longer. Documents provided to The Patriot-News show one officer worked more than 150 hours in a 14-day period, nearly the equivalent of two full-time jobs. The same officer averaged more than 54 hours a week for the first 10 months of 2005.
Source: By Jonathan Abel, St Petersburg Times (FL), January 27, 2006
An inmate at the Hernando County Jail was found hanging in his cell early Friday. It was the third death at the facility since November. The man was discovered about 6:30 a.m. Police are withholding his identity until they notify the next of kin. “We’re shocked,” said Ken Bouldin, executive vice president of Corrections Corp. of America, which runs the jail. Bouldin was in Hernando to address complaints about two recent suicides at the jail, which currently houses about 550 inmates.
Source: By KAREN JOWERS, STEPHEN LOSEY and DAN DAVIDSON, Federal Times, January 30, 2006
The Defense Department is starting to move forward on a plan to outsource its billion-dollar-plus mail operation, which would be one of the government’s biggest privatization projects in recent years. An influential advisory group concluded doing so would save money, improve mail service and free up troops badly needed for war-fighting. Senior Pentagon leaders appear to favor outsourcing the work, which is performed by 352 civilian employees, 4,470 military personnel and 363 contractors who now handle the military’s mail.
Source: STEVE SCHULTZE, Journal Sentinel (WI), Jan. 26, 2006
State officials have ordered three Wisconsin Works agencies to provide subcontracts worth nearly $500,000 to a start-up job development agency with close ties to Gov. Jim Doyle, an agency that has failed to meet its goals under a special no-bid $700,000 state contract issued last year. The firm, Milwaukee Job Development Inc., was incorporated in April with a board of directors headed by former state Commerce Secretary Cory Nettles, a Doyle ally. The company failed to meet any of its 2005 goals, which included assessing 1,500 unemployed or underemployed people and placing 540 of them in jobs.
Source: By PAUL von ZIELBAUER, New York Times (NY), January 27, 2006
The Tennessee company that provides health care to city inmates failed to meet one-fourth of its contractual performance standards for a third consecutive quarter last year, city records show. The latest review, completed this month, prompted city health officials to withhold $71,000 in payments to the company, the largest quarterly penalty for poor jail care since 2001. In the third quarter of 2005, the company, Prison Health Services, did not meet medical or mental health standards in 10 of 39 areas, including those covering H.I.V. treatment, mental health care and suicide watch, records show.
Source: Terence J. Downing, ENTERPRISE (MA), Jan 24, 2006
TAUNTON — The city is planning to privatize its sewer system by hiring a company to operate and maintain nearly 100 miles of sewer mains and 2,050 manholes. Mayor Robert G. Nunes said the city does not have the manpower or resources to maintain the troubled system and the state has recommended privatization. The move toward privatization is necessary for the city to comply with a Department of Environmental Protection’s order that the city repair, upgrade and maintain its aging and leaking system.
Source: Associated Press (IL), Jan 26, 2006
A state senator says he has a plan that would bring in billions of dollars in revenue for Illinois. Senator Jeff Schoenberg proposes privatizing the Illinois Tollway system. The Evanston Democrat says the proceeds could be used to match federal funds now available for other transportation projects and to pay down the state’s unfunded pension liability.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security is in the process of considering proposals for contracting out case management services related to its TANF wwork program, known as the Jobs program. As part of the contracting process, DES has posted voluminous information on its website.
“The State of Arizona Forty-Sixth Legislature, Second Regular Session 2004 passed Senate Bill 1265 which amended Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 46-300.01. ARS 46-300.01(as amended) requires the Arizona Department of Economic Security to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the statewide privatization throughout the state for case management and employment services necessary to operate the Jobs Program.”
The Welfare Law Center has prepared a checklist of questions (.pdf) for advocates to consider in addressing issues related to privatization of welfare and related services. The document is available on our website, www.welfarelaw.org. It is a work in progress and we welcome feedback from advocates working on these issues.