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Private Competition for Public Services: Unfinished Agenda in New York State

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Abstract:

The benefits of opening public services to private competition are potentially enormous, as George Pataki recognized when he first took office as Governor nearly a decade ago. Despite the Governor's early advocacy, however, competitive contracting has not taken root in New York. Given the scope of the state's ongoing fiscal crisis, the Governor should pursue his original agenda by allowing private providers to challenge New York's entrenched public-sector monopolies. Efficiency gains through competitive sourcing could provide state and local governments with annual savings totaling hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. By establishing an effective, permanent framework for competitive sourcing, government can benefit from the same efficiencies that fuel private sector success.