May 8, 2008

TX: Australian company looks to take over Austin airport
Wrigley it’ll stay
MA: City urged sell assets and outsource
IN: The fight for governor

News Summaries
TX: Australian company looks to take over Austin airport
A deal to privatize Austin Bergstrom-International Airport could yield
a $500 million payoff for the city. The Macquarie Group, an Australian
company, looks to take over operations at ABIA, and some City Council
members are listening closely to the proposal. Speak with anyone close
to the airport, and they’ll tell you that privatization rumors have
been swirling for years. Yet the move raises questions about
accountability, liability and obstacles. KXAN (Austin)
Wrigley it’ll stay
Chicago Cubs fans who love Wrigley Field’s name and historic character
will find their passions protected by the state if it swings a deal to
buy the North Side ballpark from Tribune Co., former Gov. James
Thompson said Wednesday. Asked whether the authority would sell partial
naming rights so that the Wrigley Field name would be linked to another
corporate moniker, he said, "I presume there are people out there who
think so highly of Wrigley Field that they would want to be associated
with it and, therefore, would be willing to pay for that privilege.
"But I have no deals, I haven’t heard of any deals. We would have to
test the marketplace." Chicago Tribune
MA: City urged sell assets and outsource
The Research Bureau has again urged Worcester to unload some of its
properties, including the airport, the DCU Center, Union Station and
the Senior Center, and recommended other cost-saving measures such as
outsourcing custodial services, ending paid police details at
construction sites, further reducing employee health insurance costs,
and limiting police and fire injured-on-duty compensation. The report
called for the city manager and school superintendent to privatize
custodial services for City Hall and the schools, noting there are 171
custodians on the city payroll with an average annual salary of
$40,518, which the bureau contends is about $15,000 more than the
average pay for non-municipal custodians. The report recommends the
city manager consider using the $450,000 franchise fee from Charter
Communications, the city’s cable provider, for municipal services
instead of funding operations of the city’s public access channels.
“The city is not required by state or federal law to provide a public
access channel,” the report states. Worcester Telegram & Gazette
IN: The fight for governor
Democrats’ decision to nominate Jill Long Thompson for governor Tuesday
sets the stage for what promises to be a competitive and intense
campaign against incumbent Mitch Daniels. Privatizing services
traditionally operated by state government is certain to be one of the
main issues in the campaign. Long Thompson will presumably attack
the Indiana Toll Road lease and the contracting out of certain welfare
duties even while Daniels holds them up as prime successes.
Journal Gazette
(Fort Wayne)
Federal Contracting: Congressional Action Needed to AddressLong-standing
Problems with Reporting of Advisory and Assistance Services. GAO-08-319,
March 31, 2008 (37 pages).
Defense Acquisitions: DOD’s Increased Reliance on Service Contractors
Exacerbates Long-standing Challenges. GAO-08-621T, January 23, 2008 (17