Privatization: It’s Working in Florida

91 percent of outsourcing stays in state

Bill Cotterell seems to confuse offshoring with privatization in his article “Outsourcing to be outsourced to study panel” (Nov. 29). They are two very different practices. Yes, privatization could lead to offshoring, but there isn’t any foundation or evidence that it has in Florida.

Indeed, the Governor’s Center for Efficient Government conducted a review of existing state contracts and found that none of the privatized work was being done outside the United States and fully 91 percent was being conducted in Florida. Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell and Cotterell should visit their Web site.

There are more state employees living in neighboring states Georgia and Alabama than state contract work that is being conducted overseas.

A recent study by the IBM Center for the Business of Government found average savings of 44 percent in federal privatization efforts. In addition, fewer than 5 percent of employees were laid off. The federal government experience illustrates the experience with contracting throughout the United States. It has improved the quality of service and lowered cost in most every case.

In an effort to limit layoffs, bring more consistency, transparency and accountability to the state’s contracting process, Gov. Bush established the Center for Efficient Government. Another commission and layer of oversight is not needed. Rather, Sen. Campbell should stop playing politics and let the center do its job.

Geoffrey Segal is director of privatization and government reform at Reason Foundation.