Sharing Power: Public Governance and Private Markets
In the flush of enthusiasm to make government work better, reformers from both left and right have urged government to turn as many functions as possible over to the private sector and to allow market competition instill efficiency and choice. In fact, government has been doing just this for years: every major policy initiative launched since World War II has been managed by public-private partnerships. Yet such privatization has not solved government's problems. While there have been some positive results, thee has been far less success than advocates of market competition have promised.
In a searching examination of why the "competition prescription" has not worked well, Donald F. Kettl finds that government has largely been a poor judge of private markets. Because government rarely operates in truly competitive markets contracting out has not so much solved the problems of inefficiency, but has aggravated them. Government has often not proved to be an intelligent consumer of the goods and services it has purchased. Kettl provides specific recommendations as to how government can become a "smart buyer," knowing what it wants and judging better what it has bought.
Through detailed case studies, Kettl shows that as market imperfections increase, so do problems in governance and management. He examines the A-76 program for buying goods and services, the FTS-2000 telecommunications system, the Superfund program, the Department of Energy's production of nuclear weapons, and contracting out by state and local governments. He argues that government must be more aggressive in managing contracts if it is to build successful partnerships with outside contractors.
Kettl maintains that the answer is not more government, but a smarter one, which requires strong political leadership to refocus the bureaucracy's mission and to change the bureaucratic culture.
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For those of us who love to solve the problems of government, Donald Kettl's book on Sharing Power, has shortened our struggle from a bottle of brandy to one round of drinks. Kettl is not an advocate of more government or smaller government, but in smarter government. He points out that reformers from the left and the right agree that we need a partnership between public and private sector managers. But admits that the government has failed as judges over the facility and economy of products and services.
The Hidden Growth of PublicPrivate Partnerships
The Myth of the SelfGoverning Market
Government and Markets
The Contracting Relationship
Different Markets Different Problems
Controlling the Market
An Imperfect Marketplace
Nuclear Weapons Production Bombs and Bomb Makers
Trouble at Rocky Flats
Changing the Bureaucratic Culture
The Intelligence of Government
The A76 Program Logistics and Libraries
Devising a Competitive Process
The Fruits of Competition
Contracting Out and Government Employees
The Government as Buyer
The FTS2000 System Federal Telecommunications
The Problem of Competition
Competition in Contracting
Administering the Contract
Managing Market Competition
Superfund Red Ice and Purple Dogs
Negotiating Market Behavior
Contracting Out in State and Local Governments
The Evidence on State and Local Contracting
Contracting Out for Social Services
Accountability in Service Networks
The SmartBuyer Problem
The Government as Smart Buyer
Management Issues for Contracting
Managing Versus Governing
Coping with Uncertainty
Governing through Leadership