Local Governments Across The Country Are Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships

Every year the Reason Foundation releases an Annual Privatization Report 2011 which provides a great overview of the privatization and public-private partnerships taking place in local governments across the country. Highlights include:

  • 57 percent of city finance officers report their cities were less able to meet their financial needs in 2011 than in 2010 while general city revenues declined for the fifth straight year, according to the National League of Cities.
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, during his first year in office has: implemented managed competition for the city’s recycling program allowing private companies to compete with the public sector, the move is projected to provide Chicagoans cost-savings exceeding 50 percent. The city began outsourcing the water bill call center in summer 2011 and is considering outsourcing the collection of city ambulance fees to improve collection rates.
  • Parking assets remain the hot item in local government privatization. Chicago and Indianapolis are realizing substantial gains from their reforms and were joined in 2011 by a host of cities (such as New York, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Memphis and Harrisburg) that are considering similar efforts.
  • San Diego, California is finally implementing the managed competition mandate approved by voters in 2006. City employees won bids for the Publishing Services Department and Fleet Services Division, with new contracts expected to save y 30 percent ($5.2 million) and 13 percent ($22 million) respectively over the separate five-year contracts. Officials are also exploring street sweeping services, utilities call centers, street and sidewalk maintenance and landfill operations.
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford championed efforts to privatize trash collection in District 2 could save residents anywhere from $35-$92 million over the course of the seven-year contract. Half the city’s trash collection is now provided by the private sector, allowing for cost and service comparison before further privatization.
  • New mayors in Tulsa and Jacksonville have quickly moved to apply competitive forces to public service delivery. In Tulsa, Mayor Dewey Bartlett is implementing 1,134 strategic opportunities compiled by KPMG to realize cost savings, enhance revenue collection and improve efficiency. In Jacksonville, Mayor Alvin Brown appointed a new public-private partnership commissioner who will oversee a wide range of streamlining initiatives.

With several municipalities filing bankruptcy in 2011, local governments have to find ways of providing government services that are better, faster and cheaper. The Annual Privatization Report 2011: Local Government Privatization contains a lot of great examples for communities to utilize.


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