Government Competes with Private Sector on Level Playing Field Today, as local and state governments struggle to provide services to an ever-growing, ever-demanding public despite inadequate financial resources, outsourcing and privatization of government functions is becoming more and more of an issue. Taxpayers expect their governments to deliver products and services commensurate — at least in their own minds — with what they pay in taxes. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a unique organization works to ensure its citizens get the most for their tax dollars. The 15-person Commonwealth Competition Council, created by the Virginia Legislature as part of the Virginia Competition Act of 1995, is proving that there is a better and less costly way to serve its citizens. The Competition Council, whose members hail from government, academia and the private sector, was mandated to research and recommend ways in which state government can reduce the size and scope of its activity, as well as investigate h
For government agencies across the United States, the ability to deliver services to their citizenry is being sorely taxed (no pun intended). Budgets are being strained beyond limit. Quality — and quantity — of services is deteriorating. And the varieties of the prevailing political climate can wreak havoc on long-range planning and consistent and coordinated operational systems. Add to this the fact that many government agencies’ entire existing infrastructure for delivering services is suffering from such maladies as outdated technology, a stagnant work force and the typical bureaucratic red tape that is government’s calling card, and you have a recipe for guaranteed underachievement.