January 16, 2014


Infrastructure 101: The Evolution of Building Big Things – Part 2: Adverse Events and Privatization Consultants. The boilerplate language makes the contracts easier to draft, but “easier to draft” does not mean easy to read or understand. In fact, infrastructure privatization contract language is unnecessarily hard to read. It may be that the contract drafters like to use legalese. The downside of the contract language is that people who do not work in the privatization industry, but who will be affected by privatization, will not understand the meaning and effects of the contracts.  Truth-Out

The Internet turns into a toll road. This business argument has major repercussions. If the ruling stands, the Internet could fundamentally change, and not for the better. Service will evolve into a toll road with movies, music and other high-traffic commodities costing more. A website that doesn’t want to pay extra for quick connection will be shafted with slower service. It won’t be the open, accessible Internet any more.  San Francisco Chronicle           

Privatizing the Public Good. The FCC’s effort to reclassify the Internet as an “information” services was part of Bush-era policy to privatize online services. CounterPunch

FL: Florida Isn’t Apologizing For Lax Oversight At Abusive Youth Prisons. The head of Florida’s juvenile justice department defended her agency’s oversight of private prison contractors before a state Senate panel on Wednesday amid allegations of violence and mistreatment inside the nation’s third-largest juvenile corrections system. A Huffington Post investigation published in October detailed a legacy of abuse at prisons operated by the for-profit firm Youth Services International and other companies run by its founder, James Slattery. YSI does the bulk of its business with Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice and has continued to win multi-million dollar contracts over the last 17 years, despite a mounting record of problems.   Huffington Post

IN: Firms Eye P3 for New Illiana Tollroad. Six firms have responded to Indiana’s request for qualifications to partner with the state for the $1.3 billion Illiana Corridor toll road connecting Indiana and Illinois. Bond Buyer

MI: State officials probe union complaints on prison food workers. Michigan Corrections Organization President Tom Tylutki said the union has “multiple examples” of improper conduct by workers of the new private contractor. Aramark recently took over food service for the sprawling prison system — formerly run by union-member state employees — as part of cost-saving measures to keep in check the $2 billion corrections budget. The Detroit News