Privatization and Public-Private Partnerships

Source: PA Times, July 2014
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PA Times has published a number of recent articles on privatization and public-private partnerships.

Articles include:
The Business of Government Today: Public, Private or Nonprofit Providers?
By Alicia Schatteman, July 22, 2014

Local governments seek to provide as many goods and services for their residents within a municipal jurisdiction, which often means increasing municipal budgets and increasing property and sales tax. This formula worked in many locales until the Great Recession. The Great Recession was the wake-up call many of us needed and for the public sector, the lesson was clear. It was no longer acceptable to expand budgets or raise property taxes. If families had to tight their belts, then so did government.

Privatization: Is It Truly In The Public Interest?
By Dulce Pamela Baizas, July 22, 2014

Since the 1980s, various levels of governments have been sending public services to the private sector in an effort to make do with less. The justification for privatization is that private companies do it better, cheaper and more efficiently than the government. There is a deeply ingrained belief that privatization leads to a smaller government, reduces costs to the taxpayers and encourages competition, which drives prices down. But does privatization really save the government money?

Public-Private Partnerships in Higher Education: The Western Governors University Initiative
By Frank Woodward, July 22, 2014

Faced with increasing costs, skyrocketing tuition and rapidly shifting technology, higher education finds itself reframed as a commodity whose future rises or falls on whether the degree is worth the cost. A number of university systems have sought innovative policy initiatives that attempt to bridge the gap between public service and private delivery. These initiatives can potentially offer economic efficiency for states, but they often raise important questions about the value and character of traditional forms of higher education.

Private Delivery of Public Services, 20 Years On

By John Carroll, July 11, 2014

It has been a little over 20 years since Osborne and Gaebler rocked the public sector with “Reinventing Government.” In those early years of the Clinton administration, all levels of American government looked in the mirror to think about how we could do it better. In describing their models of government, the delivery of public services through contract with private entities played a substantive role. The book did incredibly well and I remember at least some academics quietly murmuring their displeasure at the time that practitioners had taken the lead in this area (probably more like envy at the success). Since the re-inventing movement of the 1900s, government performance has shifted from the emphasis on efficiency to effectiveness…

Managing Chaos in the Public Sector: Keeping Open Government Consistent through Expansion of the Micro-Economics Role of Public-Private Partnership
By David Chapinski, July 15, 2014

This is part one of an article on open government and public-private partnerships… Some government services yield public or collective benefits that are of value to society as a whole, whereas individuals and specific organizations usually consume corporate products. One person’s use of the good or service does not diminish another person’s use. More importantly, few topics in public finance and budgeting are more contentious or more consequential than the federal budget. Still, leadership is about making others better because of your presence and making it last in your absence. Besides the tremendous pressure for strategic change, governance demands competence with integrity — one without the other won’t work. Deciding whether economics is more a “science” or just common sense takes us re-engineering work and evaluation of capacity to allow organizational systems to respond to change. Strategy in the public sector, along with revenue and expenditure forecasting, is often overlooked in the budget process. Herein lies the problem or more specifically, the ‘storm.’ How do we weather this storm?…