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INFRASTRUCTURE OUTSOURCING

3. Solid Waste

The percentage of all solid-waste facilities owned by the public sector declined from 83 percent in 1984 to 73 percent in 1997 and to 64 percent in 1998. A 1998 R. W. Beck survey showed that 27 percent of municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 were considering privatization as an option to fulfill their disposal needs.32 Moreover, the design, engineering, and construction of solid-waste facilities are “almost exclusively” outsourced.33 (Day-to-day environmental operations, such as monitoring and permitting, are largely provided by in-house engineers.)34 Reliance on the private sector is easily understood. Major expansions of facilities are needed only every 5 to 10 years and major constructions every one to two years,

while the designs for these projects take between one and two months.35 engineer would be without work for a majority of the time.

If they were handled in-house, the

4. Highway and Street Maintenance

According to ICMA data, one-third of cities outsource street repair, up 5 percent between 1982 and 1997.36 Another study found that in 1995, 37 percent of cities outsourced street repair, up 19 percent from 1987.37

Outsourcing Brings Hi-tech Laboratory to Florida State University

The 290,000-square-foot National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, in Tallahassee, Florida, is an example of a competitive, networking-oriented procurement strategy. The $75 million facility houses the most powerful research magnets in the world.

A guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contract was negotiated for building the facility, creating incentives for the contractor based on cost savings, quality, technical performance, time savings, or a combination of those.38

The project team brought the initially $8 million over-budget architectural and engineering plans back into line; brought a 50-megawatt electric substation to serve the facility on-line; and coordinated record numbers of concrete trucks to pour continuously a three-foot-deep mat of concrete, free of seams and cracks, as the foundation for a crucial part of the laboratory.39

The facility was built in the record time of 18 months and was within budget. “A sense of camaraderie and purpose was evident in the complex interactions of the core team and nearly fifty subcontractors— working in a team environment, for the same goal.”40

32

Jonathan Burgiel, Trends in Privatization and Managed Competition: National Survey Results (Seattle: R. W. Beck, 1998), www.rwbeck.com.

33

34

35

36

37

Steve Menoff, IT Consulting, interview with author, March 2000. Walsh, interview with author. Ibid. Martin, Contracting for Service Delivery, pp. 40–41. William D. Eggers et al., Cutting Local Government Costs Through Competition and Privatization (Los Angeles:

Reason Public Policy Institute, 1997), p. 41.

38

Margaret C. Bowden and William E. Klay, “Contracting for 21st Financial Management, vol. 8, no. 3 (1996), pp. 384–405.

Century Infrastructure,” Public Budgeting and

39

Ibid.

40

Ibid.

9

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