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RB83 First Annual North Carolina County Privatization Survey

RB83 First Annual North Carolina County Privatization Survey

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County governments all over North Carolina are saving money by privatizing services. In an effort to assist in the exchange of information about these activities, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of all 100 counties asking county managers to tell us about governmental activities that they currently supply privately. We also asked them if they had problems in the past with a privatized activity that had caused them to return the activity to government provision.

Appendix A of this report contains the results of that survey. Appendix B contains the survey instrument. We asked managers to report their privatization activities in one of four categories: competitive sourcing, public/private partnerships (PPP), contracting out, and asset sales (see the descriptions below). We encouraged managers to respond by providing them with a hard-copy survey form and an online survey. We followed up with a reminder letter and phone call.

We received responses from 44 out of 100 N.C. counties, which we list in Appendix A. With a few exceptions, we list the information in Appendix A as we received it from the county. We have also listed county contact names and phone numbers for those who might want more detailed information about a county’s privatization activities.

We have supplied a copy of this report to all 100 county managers and county commissioners in the state. We hope this report will stimulate more discussion of privatization among the counties and that counties that did not participate in this year’s survey or did not have privatization activities to report will participate in the survey next year.
County governments all over North Carolina are saving money by privatizing services. In an effort to assist in the exchange of information about these activities, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of all 100 counties asking county managers to tell us about governmental activities that they currently supply privately. We also asked them if they had problems in the past with a privatized activity that had caused them to return the activity to government provision.

Appendix A of this report contains the results of that survey. Appendix B contains the survey instrument. We asked managers to report their privatization activities in one of four categories: competitive sourcing, public/private partnerships (PPP), contracting out, and asset sales (see the descriptions below). We encouraged managers to respond by providing them with a hard-copy survey form and an online survey. We followed up with a reminder letter and phone call.

We received responses from 44 out of 100 N.C. counties, which we list in Appendix A. With a few exceptions, we list the information in Appendix A as we received it from the county. We have also listed county contact names and phone numbers for those who might want more detailed information about a county’s privatization activities.

We have supplied a copy of this report to all 100 county managers and county commissioners in the state. We hope this report will stimulate more discussion of privatization among the counties and that counties that did not participate in this year’s survey or did not have privatization activities to report will participate in the survey next year.

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Published by: John Locke Foundation on Nov 10, 2011
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 for Truth 
The John Locke Foundation
is a501(c)(3) nonproft, nonpartisan researchinstitute dedicated to improving public policy debate in North Carolina. Viewpoints expressed by authors do not necessarilyreect those o the sta or board o the Locke Foundation.
200 W. Morgan, #200Raleigh, NC 27601
phone:
919-828-3876
fax:
919-821-5117www.johnlocke.org
regional
brief 
First Annual North CarolinaCounty Privatization Survey
D
. M
ichael
S
 anera 
 
 anD
evin
M
unger 
N
ovember
2011
No. 83
i
ntroDuction
County governments all over North Carolina are saving money byprivatizing services. In an effort to assist in the exchange of informationabout these activities, the John Locke Foundation conducted a surveyof all 100 counties asking county managers to tell us about governmen-tal activities that they currently supply privately. We also asked them if they had problems in the past with a privatized activity that had causedthem to return the activity to government provision. Appendix A of this report contains the results of that survey. Appendix B contains the survey instrument. We asked managers toreport their privatization activities in one of four categories: competi-tive sourcing, public/private partnerships (PPP), contracting out, andasset sales (see the descriptions below). We encouraged managers torespond by providing them with a hard-copy survey form and an onlinesurvey. We followed up with a reminder letter and phone call. We received responses from 44 out of 100 N.C. counties, whichwe list in Appendix A. With a few exceptions, we list the informationin Appendix A as we received it from the county. We have also listedcounty contact names and phone numbers for those who might wantmore detailed information about a county’s privatization activities. We have supplied a copy of this report to all 100 county manag-ers and county commissioners in the state. We hope this report willstimulate more discussion of privatization among the counties and thatcounties that did not participate in this year’s survey or did not haveprivatization activities to report will participate in the survey next year.
 W 
hat
i
S
P
rivatization
?
Privatization is an umbrella term used to describe several tech-niques that increase competition in the public sector. One of the pri-mary differences between the public and private sectors is competi-tion. Private-sector entrepreneurs must constantly nd a way to cutcosts and lower prices or risk a competitive disadvantage. On the other
 
2
First AnnuAl north CArolinA County PrivAtizAtion surveyJohn loCke FoundAtion
hand, the public sector can be character-ized as a monopoly provider. Govern-ment departments and agencies are oftenthe only service provider, but when it hascompetition from the private sector, thegovernment has unfair access to taxpayerfunds. Often governments increase theirbudgets, not by satisfying customers, butby satisfying special-interest groups wholobby for budget increases. Taxpayers andcitizens alike benet from the consider-ation of privatization techniques becauseincreased competition often lowers costsand improves the quality of services
 Regional Brief 
No. 83 • November 10, 2011
Dr. Michael Sanera
 Director of Research and Local Government Studiesat the John Locke Foundation
Kevin Munger
 Research Intern at the John Locke Foundation
Explaining the Different Types of Privatization
TypeExplanation
CompetitiveSourcing
Uses a bidding process for service contracts, which allows private-sector serviceproviders to compete with public-sector agencies. If, for example, the countywanted to have open competition for the provision of landll operations, the exist-ing county workers would submit a bid in competition with private companies.The lowest bid, public or private, would receive the contract to provide the service.
Public/PrivatePartnership
 A joint venture between a government department and a private rm to providesome service or perform some function. PPPs are commonly used in building gov-ernment ofces, water-treatment plants, and other capital projects.
ContractingOut
The public sector contracts with a private or nonprot rm to deliver a service thatpreviously had been provided by government personnel. Taxpayers can benetbecause the contracts are open to competitive bidding. The government maintainscontrol through the terms of the contract. Common examples are food service inschools and county jails, parks management, and wastewater treatment.
AssetSales
 A way for governments to increase revenues and cut maintenance costs by shed-ding nonessential property or commercial-type enterprises. In addition, somegovernments have sold buildings, then leased back needed space. The budgetcrisis in California has prompted the state to consider selling the L.A. Coliseum,San Quentin Prison, and a number of state fairgrounds. Asset sales are also calleddivestiture.
For more information
See the following chapters from the John LockeFoundation’s
City and County Issue Guide 2011
:
•
Competitive Sourcing
johnlocke.org/site-docs/research/2011issueguide/ 06competitivesourcing.html
 
•
Fresh Water and Wastewater Services
johnlocke.org/site-docs/research/2011issueguide/ 08freshwater.html
•
Parks and Recreation
johnlocke.org/site-docs/research/2011issueguide/ 09parksandrecreation.html
 
•
Public Transit
johnlocke.org/site-docs/research/2011issueguide/ 11publictransit.html
•
Stadiums, Water Parks, Restaurants, etc.
johnlocke.org/site-docs/research/2011issueguide/ 12stadiums.html
•
Convention Centers
johnlocke.org/site-docs/research/2011issueguide/ 13conventioncenters.html
 
 
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