Kirkus Reviews QR Code


How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government

by Mary Scott Nabers

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-098294616-9
Publisher: Winans Kuenstler Publishing

A former Texas Railroad commissioner and current business consultant argues that government is undergoing a major transformation as it seeks ways to provide services profitably and effectively.

Nabers focuses on how to transfer resources from government to the private sector and outlines alternatives that are emerging in cases where government can no longer maintain its functions at or below cost. In her view, outsourcing has often been the best method. She writes that the vocabulary of government contracting is changing, as collaborative public-private partnerships (P3s), no longer based on considerations of price alone, but also best value, replace what was once called privatization. Nabers stresses that politics is the field where business and government come together, and that successful negotiations require all parties to improve their understanding of the others. Experienced on both sides of “this cultural divide,” the author outlines what needs to be done by both businesses and government agencies to move forward. Nabers provides short case studies of areas such as provision of parking, management of state liquor distribution, state parks, and facilities for higher education, among others, from states including New Jersey, Louisiana and Ohio, where P3s have been moving ahead. She believes that businesses will be well-advised to master the intricacies and detailed processes she indicates, and she provides checklists to help out. Nabers offers a valuable guide to defenders of privatization, but her approach won't convince those who support maintaining strong government function.

More a practical how-to manual, short and to the point, than a study of the merits and disadvantages of outsourcing government.