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Democratic accountability for outsourced government services

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Date Issued:
2010
Summary:
Public administration scholars have raised serious concerns about loss of democratic accountability when government services are outsourced to private forprofit businesses because of the very different values and missions of the two sectors. Particular concern for democratic accountability arises when administrative discretion is delegated to governments' private sector agents. Furthermore, if contractors may adversely impact individual rights or interests, or may adversely impact vulnerable populations, special democratic responsibilities arise. It is these three features of outsourcing transactions that constitute the elements of the proposed framework used in this research in order to assess need for heightened attention to democratic accountability. Some scholars argue for application of constitutional and administrative law norms to some government contractors.
Title: Democratic accountability for outsourced government services.
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Name(s): Keeler, Rebecca L.
College for Design and Social Inquiry
School of Public Administration
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: xiv, 247 p. : ill.
Language(s): English
Summary: Public administration scholars have raised serious concerns about loss of democratic accountability when government services are outsourced to private forprofit businesses because of the very different values and missions of the two sectors. Particular concern for democratic accountability arises when administrative discretion is delegated to governments' private sector agents. Furthermore, if contractors may adversely impact individual rights or interests, or may adversely impact vulnerable populations, special democratic responsibilities arise. It is these three features of outsourcing transactions that constitute the elements of the proposed framework used in this research in order to assess need for heightened attention to democratic accountability. Some scholars argue for application of constitutional and administrative law norms to some government contractors.
Summary: Public service ethics and transparency requirements found in administrative law are heavily value-laden and mission-driven. If applied to certain government contractors, they can help to bridge the sectors' mission and value differences, thus enhancing democratic accountability for the services performed by governments' private sector agents. This research offers an analytical framework for identifying features of outsourcing transactions that call for enhanced democratic accountability measures such as ethics and transparency requirements, and explores the application of ethics and transparency requirements to governments' contractors. Contracts and laws governing three Florida local government service categories were subjected to close systematic textual and legal analysis: residential trash collection, building code inspection, and inmate health care.
Summary: The analysis revealed circumstances calling for greater attention to democratic accountability in that the selected outsourcing transactions delegated to contractors the authority to exercise police power, make public policy, and commit expenditures of public funds. Contracts and laws haphazardly required contractors to abide by public service ethics and transparency requirements, thus beginning to adapt the mission and value system of their private sector agents to those of government.
Identifier: 608683414 (oclc), 1930232 (digitool), FADT1930232 (IID), fau:2985 (fedora)
Note(s): Rebecca L. Keeler.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2010.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2010. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Contracting out -- United States
Privatization -- United States
Public administration -- United States -- Decision making
Public contracts -- United States -- Management
Held by: FBoU FAUER
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/1927311
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU