May 5, 2008

Competitive sourcing drops in 2007
Senate panel curbs private security firms
States look to rein in private medicare plans
Color by commute leaves an ugly pattern
San Diego city jobs outlined for outsourcing
FL: Jail health contract meets resistance

News Summaries
Competitive sourcing drops in 2007
The number of federal employees or the full-time equivalents of
employees who competed in 2007 decreased from 2006 by more than
a third, to 10,317 from 16,369, according to an annual report
on competitive sourcing released today. Clay Johnson, the Office of
Management and Budget’s deputy director for management, said the
decrease is due in large par, to legislative actions that block or
otherwise deny funding for competitions.
Senate panel curbs private security firms
A Senate panel is seeking to rein in private security firms in Iraq and
Afghanistan by prohibiting them from conducting military detainee
interrogations and operations in combat areas. The Senate Armed
Services panel included language in the 2009 defense authorization bill
this week extending Pentagon regulations on private security firms to
the Department of State. The Hill
States look to rein in private medicare plans
State officials say they will soon ask Congress for more power to
regulate the marketing of private Medicare insurance plans to older
Americans because they are still receiving complaints of high-pressure
sales tactics that have led some beneficiaries to sign up for unsuitable
policies. Medicare pays private plans 13 percent more, on average, than
it would spend for the same beneficiaries in the traditional Medicare program.
The report says insurers often encourage agents to sell these products by
paying larger commissions and bonuses than agents would receive for
selling other health insurance products. The New York Times
Color by commute leaves an ugly pattern
"For most people in America it’s not a choice" between toll lanes and
the free lanes, said Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Oregon), who has tried to
derail tolling programs. "You have to be at work at a certain time.
Many people have to live pretty distant from their work because of the
economics of housing prices. For many of those people, there is no
transit alternative." In DeFazio’s view, the Bush administration is
starving mass transit funding and instead moving to privatize roads,
which benefits firms in the tolling business It is also worth noting
that U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters — whose agency is
pushing congestion pricing — previously worked for a major engineering
firm, HDR, based in Omaha. Los Angeles Times
Cities could sell naming rights for disaster relief
And before you start complaining about the coarsening of society, how
we’ve sold out every last thing that is sacred in America, including
"God Bless America" at Tides games; before you start whining that
corporate interests have replaced near-historic icons, spare me. We’ve
sold out long before this. Virginian Pilot

San Diego city jobs outlined for outsourcing
Trash collection and street sweeping are among the first San Diego city
services targeted for outsourcing, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced
Friday. San Diego Union Tribune
FL: Jail health contract meets resistance
The county jail is not physically equipped to deal with the ever-increasing
number of inmates with mental illnesses and changes are needed, Volusia
County Manager Jim Dineen and County Corrections Director Marilyn Chandler
Ford said Friday. But Dineen said making improvements is "not a quick fix."
He’s leaning toward a recommendation that the County Council extend for a
year its jail health care contract with Prison Health Services. Prison Health Services
faces lawsuits locally and nationally by inmates claiming they didn’t receive proper
medications and treatment. The current psychiatrist, Dr. David Hager, is leaving
this month to take a job out of state. News-Journalonline (Daytona Beach)