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.
Source: By J.L. MILLER, The News Journal (DE), 01/26/2006
DOVER — Lee McMillan, whose husband nearly died in prison after flesh-eating bacteria attacked his body, wants to know why the state won’t release an audit of Delaware’s prison health care system. So do some legislators, who are backing a bill that would require the state to release the audit and similar reports — as long as confidential information such as personal medical records is withheld. House Bill 320, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Wagner, R-Dover North, would make reports that are paid for with public funds open to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
….. In defending his record, Correction Commissioner Stan Taylor pointed to the audit, prepared by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, but denied a Freedom of Information request for the report by the newspaper. Taylor and former Attorney General M. Jane Brady ruled the accreditation report was not a public document. Taylor, though, said the audit was critical of the work of First Correctional Medical, a Tucson, Ariz., company. In July, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Taylor awarded a $25.9 million no-bid contract to Correctional Medical Services of St. Louis to pick up the provision of medical care in Delaware’s prisons.
Source: By Niki Kelly, The Journal Gazette (IN), Jan 24, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana would reap $3.85 billion for highway construction under a winning bid unveiled by Gov. Mitch Daniels on Monday to lease the Indiana Toll Road for 75 years. He still needs lawmakers to pass legislation authorizing him to sign a contract with Statewide Mobility Partners – a joint venture of two companies based in Australia and Spain that would operate and maintain the road.
Source: Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic, Jan. 22, 2006 12:00 AM
Forget the image of the pot-bellied security guard, asleep with a newspaper in his lap and doughnut crumbs on his chin. Post-Sept. 11, the old rental cop in many cases has been replaced by security officers who are screened, licensed, trained and equipped better than their quaint predecessors. Homeland defense experts, such as former FBI Deputy Director Weldon Kennedy, say the enhanced professionalism is critical because the private-security industry defends more than three-fourths of the nation’s most likely terrorism targets.
……. Private officers are defending power plants, oil refineries, financial centers, computer systems, dams, malls, railroad lines and other prospective terrorism targets. They are responsible for millions of lives and billions of dollars in assets. And they are most likely to be first on the scene in major disasters.
…..Worldwide, private-security company revenues have been estimated at $100 billion by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The institute, which studies issues involving worldwide security, estimates the industry income will double by 2010.
….. The nation’s security companies employ 1.5 million people and spend $52 billion per year, compared with public police agencies that have 600,000 workers and spend $30 billion,according to James Pastor, author of The Privatization of Police in America. Because government officers are more expensive, Pastor sees private guards rapidly absorbing roles once held by public peace officers, protecting stores and neighborhoods.
Source: LARRY MARGASAK, The Associated Press, Monday, January 23, 2006; 4:12 AM
WASHINGTON — Water supplied to a U.S. base in Iraq was contaminated and the contractor in charge, Halliburton, failed to tell troops and civilians at the facility, according to internal documents from the company and interviews with former Halliburton officials. Although the allegations came from Halliburton’s own water quality experts, the company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney denied there was a contamination problem at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi.