Admitting a Bad Influence: Contracting the Public Service
Links to Fileshttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1081/PAD-120034074
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Type of Work10 pages
Citation of Original PublicationAdmitting a Bad Influence: Contracting the Public Service” (2004). In Charles Goodsell (symposium ed.), “Has PA Grown Up?” International Journal of Public Administration. 27(7): 481-490.
Emulation of the private sector is a longstanding controversy in public administration, but could it constitute a bad influence, of the kind that parents seek to guard against by scrutinizing their children's peers? Effectiveness provides a perspective on how helpful or harmful private sector influence has been for the public service. The practice of contracting-out under the A-76 process receives particular scrutiny relative to maintaining the effectiveness of public agencies. A second perspective on private sector influence examines, through the theoretical perspective of transaction-cost economics, the promise of cost savings that justified recent acceleration of contracting-out. The author, himself a government contractor, also bases his analysis on personal experience.