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We had come interesting comments and discussions. I will mention the points that have not been covered in my posts before.

Reader Joe writes:

Managed competition is not real competition, it is the Mayor’s facade to hide behind while he does whatever he wants without any meaningful input from the public, civic groups, the city departments or any other interested entity.

This does lead to the secrecy of the managed competition process. It does not seem as if the mayor wants to share the competition criteria assessment before he makes his decision on which functions to compete. These criteria are essential in understanding whether there are severe legal liabilities for the city, whether services will be significantly disrupted during the transition process, and whether privatizing a function protects the public interest. The county of San Diego deliberated these issues in public before they decided to compete a function. Why the secrecy in the city?

After some interesting observations about the Water department, LMG writes:

… as a city employee you must SHUT up or get canned and sabotage beyond repair.

This is indeed worrisome. The purpose of reengineering is to solicit input from employees without worry of retaliation from the management. No organization can work under threats.

Once again, I appreciate the participation by Erik Bruvold, the CEO of the San Diego Institute for Policy Reseach:

How in the world will we know what we COULD save (or whether the City is truly the leanest and most efficient municipality in america – as it would seem some would argue) unless we FAIRLY compete certain services?

Erik, I am an advocate for fair competition, and your friends at the Reason Foundation did rank the city of San Diego as the Most Efficient City in California in 2002, whilst we were on the brink of financial ruin. However, since we already have say 3,000 private contracts, does that not give us sufficient sample size to find out which private contracts have saved taxpayers anything? We first need a good system of enforcement, quality control and monitoring of our current contracting. Remember, once we outsource it is virtually impossible to in-source again. In San Diego, the school bus service provided by public employees has been so much more efficient and less expensive than private bus services that all subcontracted transportation is being taken in-house. This story is not unique.

Reader BillyBobHenry raises an interesting legal question on whether the Public Records Act applies to private contractors. I will definitely try doing PRA requests on Kroll just like I did to the City’s Development Services on Sunroad and get back to you …

Lastly, Horatio Alger wants to know who funds CPI? We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that is primarily funded (95 percent) by philanthropic foundations who support raising living standards for working families in San Diego. The rest comes from individuals and organizations who like what we do. We do not solicit any government or taxpayer money. You are welcome to see our funders at our website and also contribute to CPI.

— MURTAZA BAXAMUSA

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