Thanks to Kitty Benzar for this link … Below is an excerpt.
The most commonly reported reason for insourcing is inadequate service quality, followed by inadequate cost savings. Using 2002 and 2007 survey data from the International City/County Management Association, researchers examined why city managers decided to bring previously privatized services back in-house. In both years, the top reasons were problems with service quality and lack of cost savings when the service was privatized.
Of the local governments that insourced services, 61% said that the reason was a decline in service quality, while 52% said that there were insufficient cost savings.2 The researcher concluded that citizens prefer local services to be locally controlled and publicly delivered.3
Insourcing is a viable and popular option.
Research shows that from 2002 to 2007, the rates of outsourcing and insourcing among local governments were about equal. 11% of municipalities surveyed contracted out services previously performed by city employees, while 12% took contracted functions back in-house.4 Insourcing has also gained traction in the federal government, as agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense are increasingly bringing contractor jobs back to the public sector to successfully save money and reduce debt.
Insourcing creates good jobs, while saving money.
A recent study by the Project on Government Oversight showed that the federal government pays almost twice for contracted services than what it would cost if public workers performed the same job, even when accounting for the long-term employee benefits of federal workers. The study found that even though many public employees are paid higher salaries and receive better benefits than contractor employees, the lower compensation of the contractor employee was more than offset by the overhead, executive compensation, and profits that the contractor company charged the government.6 By bringing contracted functions back in-house, the government is often able to create good family-supporting jobs, while saving valuable taxpayer funds. For example, when the Department of Homeland Security insourced 200 previously contracted technology jobs, the agency was able to save $27 million that year not by lowering employee pay, but by cutting out the fees that they had to pay the private contractor.
In my experience, the desire to contract is more about ideology than reality. Plus it comes with the creation of separate lobbying needs.. remember Eisenhower and the “military industrial complex”? That’s how I feel about the risk of concessionaires.
I feel like using concessionaires for campgrounds is like being the pastor of a church and sending contractors to your flock’s bedsides when they are dying. When the public is with you camping or at other times, is the time to make a difference and really touch their lives (those folks who own our public lands). Even for kids at the campground be able to say “I want to work for the Forest Service, because they helped us, or I really learned from that ranger talk.. or ..” “I want to work in public service and wear a uniform with history.” All these things are very right-brained, but the important things in life are all that way (love, spirituality, art). Rearranging our lives around the apparently cheapest way to do things, regardless of implications to others, is not a compelling philosophy.
Our former RF would say that the Park Service has that right.. the brand, the uniform, the respect for people .. I would say presence is a sacred act, the most sacred to honor a person.