December 3, 2013


Botched rollout energizes IT reform efforts. The failed rollout of has put a spotlight on federal information technology procurement reform and given renewed energy to reform proponents, according to members of Congress and outside experts.  Federal Times

Is privatizing prison health care costing more inmates’ lives? More than half of states have privatized prison health care to save money, but a new report concludes that for-profit care could be costing some inmates in Arizona their lives. In this excerpt from his report airing Monday, Adam May speaks with a mother who says negligent medical treatment behind bars could have killed her daughter. Al Jazeera America

Will Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Join Fannie, Freddie Privatization Effort? Now, five years after the U.S. Treasury’s bailout of both government sponsored mortgage giants, one wonders whether the Oracle of Omaha might be enticed by Fannie and Freddie privatization bids.

AZ: DBA Press releases records obtained from the office of Arizona DBA. Press releases records obtained from the office of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pertaining to private prison operators, private prison lobbyists. Key pieces of information contained in this records set include: ADC Director claimed knowledge of CCA’s role in driving prison privatization plan; CCA lobbyists work with the Governor’s Office and Legislature to shape the state budget, award contract; CCA lobbyist handpicked Governor’s judicial appointee. DBA Press

AZ: Courthouse privatization plan shelved. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has backed away from a plan to outsource courthouse security jobs to a private security firm, after weeks of negotiations among the office, county attorneys and the workers’ union, which claimed that the move violated a collective-bargaining agreement and state law….. But officials at the local branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said that privatizing courthouse security was just an effort by the sheriff’s office to “test the waters” to see which public agencies it could privatize, part of what AFSCME said was a larger effort to outsource union jobs. ABQ Journal

VA: Roanoke wants ability to privatize management of on-street parking. The city of Roanoke has turned to private companies to manage its parking garages. Now, the city wants the ability to do the same for on-street parking….. State Senator John Edwards says he is wary of a plan that would give a private company the authority to issue parking tickets. He told members of city council he has serious concerns about privatizing law enforcement. “Any time people want to privatize prisons for example, privatizing any kind of law enforcement,” Edwards said, “it creates conflicts of interest for one thing. And you can’t delegate out law enforcement. It’s uniquely a government function.”  WDBJ7

MD: Intercounty Connector toll revenue falls short of early forecasts. Maryland officials have said repeatedly that traffic on the Intercounty Connector matches state projections, even as motorists say the controversial toll road continues to feel remarkably underused two years after it opened.  Washington Post

UT: Proposed Law Drops Measurements for Private/Homeschools, Creates Parent Bill of Rights. Over the past five months, Senator Aaron Osmond (Republican – South Jordan) has raised eyebrows with his plan to eliminate compulsory public education in the state of Utah….On Sunday, Osmond lifted the veil on the suite of legislation he is currently drafting to fundamentally change education policy in the Beehive state in a article he posted to  UtahPoliticalCapitol

VA: Walker: Will UVa become Virginia’s first PINO university? Pushed by the General Assembly’s long-standing underfunding of higher education, U.Va. has taken steps converting it to the commonwealth’s first PINO university — Public In Name Only. As elected officials duck financial responsibility and tuition soars to compensate, admission to U.Va. is increasingly limited to those who can pay, sons and daughters of the wealthy. Gentrification of higher education is a reality in the Old Dominion, and my alma mater — which once served students from all socio-economic strata — is now behaving like a private institution. Richmond Times Dispatch

NC: North Carolina’s DHHS wrongly feels no need to explain contracts. As The N&O’s Joseph Neff reported, it appears those contracts amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars haven’t really passed customary muster. Most departments in state government require a written explanation when a contract is signed with a private person.But a DHHS attorney says no “justification memos” have been found for a number of the deals. There’s just nothing there, and the attorney simply says the memos don’t exist. Further, the attorney says that because the personal services contracts were for the office of the secretary, no justification is required. But no policy or regulation exempting the secretary was produced. News & Observer

LA: Clinics set to open as part of hospital closing. Huey P. Long Medical Center has been a safety net for people in Central Louisiana who struggle to afford health insurance for more than 70 years. It’s transitioning into private management. The services provided there for so many years are moving to clinics and other hospitals.