n Journal of Public Administration - Contracting-out of public services and its implications for accountability : reflections on the Australian Public Service (APS)
|Article Title||Contracting-out of public services and its implications for accountability : reflections on the Australian Public Service (APS)|
|© Publisher:||South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM)|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration|
|Publication Date||Sep 2005|
|Pages||52 - 61|
|Keyword(s)||Tshwane University of Technology|
Contracting-out is one of the alternatives available to the public sector for service delivery. It involves the provision of goods / services by private and / or non-profit organizations, but paid for using public funds. This arrangement raises questions about accountability. In modern democracies, accountability is taken as central to good governance, which includes among others, that public funds be expended for designated purposes, and that government administration be transparent, efficient and in accordance with the law. Two arguments come to light. Firstly, proponents of contracting-out maintain that it improves efficiency and quality by harnessing the virtues of competition, and secondly, legitimate expectations arise that the contracted provider be held publicly accountable. This article seeks to explore this notion of contracting-out of public services in the Australian Public Service and its implications on accountability. The quest to explore the aforesaid notion, two significant reports are referred to. They are Industry Commission: Competitive Tendering and Contracting by Public Sector Agencies (Report # 48, 1996) and Administrative Review Council: The Contracting Out of Government Services - Report to the Attorney-General (Report # 42, 1998).
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