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WISPIRG Report: Outsourcing Outrages
State leaders have proposed to end the existing requirement for proposals that privatize public functions to show cost-benefit advantages and report on results for Department of Transportation projects over $25,000. Privatization in other states has sometimes saved the public money, but has often led to huge losses and other problems. Politicians may be enticed by the short-term cash offered by privatization, but citizens of Wisconsin deserve to know that there will not be larger long-term losses.
A proposal put forward recently by Wisconsin legislators would strike requirements that prevent waste and abuse when the Department of Transportation spends significant public dollars on outside contractors. The change would end requirements that contracting agencies must, for instance, have a clearly determined scope, must show why they are not utilizing already existing in-house services if they are available, and must justify the reasons if the agency would not use competitive bidding to assure best value.
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