Grand Jury Issues Report: Cities Should Consider Outsourcing

An excerpt of the report, available here, follows:

Difficult economic conditions present significant constraints on revenue available for city operations at a time when there continues to be a strong need for services in many communities. Continuation of traditional methods for balancing revenue available for the cost of those services required may no longer be acceptable. City officials should begin to challenge the operational status quo and explore any and all alternative approaches, such as outsourcing, that present opportunities for reducing costs without jeopardizing the quality and scope of services provided. 

Outsourcing is not limited to private vendors. Services can also be outsourced to other public entities, particularly in those instances in which the functions are considered to be essential to protecting the well being and quality of life of citizens, such as law enforcement and public safety. Judging the benefits of these types of opportunities requires that even more stringent evaluations are conducted and that proper consideration is given to both quantitative and qualitative factors and all relevant costs.

Cities in Contra Costa County must review the successful application of outsourcing of municipal services in other cities, inside and outside of the County, in order to determine if this practice can become a key component of addressing the service versus cost issue.

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