We’re excited to announce the creation of the ITPI Scholars Network as the next step in our growth and expanding influence on the issues of privatization and outsourcing of public services and assets across the country.

The ITPI Scholars Network brings together academics who are experts in diverse fields that relate to government privatization and outsourcing as well as responsible contracting.

Three members of the ITPI Scholars Network have recently released or are close to releasing studies that have found that careless outsourcing can harm communities, taxpayers and vulnerable residents:

Dr. Daphne Greenwood of the University of Colorado released her new study The Decision to Contract Out: Understanding the Full Economic and Social Impacts. She found that reductions in contracted wages and benefits leads to a host of negative effects for the community at large; these harms include declining retail sales, greater reliance on public assistance and a larger share of children in low income families classified as “at risk”.

Dr. Janice Fine of Rutgers University released her recent study Overlooking Oversight: A Lack of Oversight in the Garden State is Placing New Jersey Assets and Residents at Risk, a first-of-its kind review which found that a “stunning” lack of government oversight of contractors led to heartache for Hurricane Sandy victims, greater risk for vulnerable children and millions of wasted tax dollars in New Jersey.

Dr. Stephanie Farmer of Roosevelt University is finalizing her forthcoming study Cities as Risk Managers: The Impact of Chicago’s Parking Meter P3 on Municipal Governance and Transportation Planning. She has analyzed how the contract language in the infamous 75-year Chicago parking meter deal negatively impacts city finances and forces the municipal government to take on the role of risk manager to protect the rate of return for Morgan Stanley, the private contractor. The contract also creates significant barriers for city planners looking to implement innovative and environmentally sustainable transportation systems like dedicated bus and bike lanes.

The work of these scholars is adding to the shift against reckless outsourcing highlighted in a remarkable piece by The Atlantic published just yesterday that details the the backlash against privatization around the country and the momentum we’ve seen towards responsible contracting. 

To find out more about the ITPI Scholars Network and a list of participating members, visit the page here.

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