LANSING-The “Public Services Accountability Act” (House Bill 6088) a bill
recently introduced in the state Legislature, aims to “create and establish
standards of accountability and reliability” for when the government contracts
out for the performance of its services.
What it may actually do is make much of the savings that would otherwise be
realized by privatization practically impossible.
The bill sets up a requirement that savings of 10 percent be guaranteed in
any deal in which government services were to be performed by a private
contractor. Then it mandates that companies hired by the government hire workers
at rates comparable to government rates. The companies bidding for the
privatized services must also operate under the same rules of financial
disclosure as government entities, a further cost that cuts down on
If a company can jump through these hoops and win the bidding process, it
still must not try to discourage workers from unionization. It must get the
state’s permission to subcontract, its books must be open for state agencies to
check, and mandatory annual audits would be public information.
After all that, what company would want to take on a government contract? If
the measure passes, it will be interesting to see whether there are any takers.
To track the progress of this bill, visit