Competition in Public Services will Save Tax Dollars: Jones
24 January 2012
“So let me assure you of this: We are as committed to modernizing our public services as we have ever been. I’m not going to make the mistakes of my predecessors – blocking reform, wasting opportunities and wasting time.”
- David Cameron on the Open Public Services White Paper, The Telegraph, July 11, 2011
QUEEN’S PARK – There is plenty of evidence to show that managed competition in public service delivery drives efficiencies that saves taxpayers’ money, Ontario PC Government Services Critic Sylvia Jones said today.
“Several case studies have shown that competition between public and private sector unions and businesses can net taxpayer savings of between 10 and 30 per cent,” Jones said.
As one example, Jones cited 2007 study by the San Diego Institute for Policy Research and Reason that estimated average savings from managed competition in the range of 10 to 25 per cent.
“Further, a report prepared by Deloitte found that if handled with appropriate oversight, managed competition can translate into savings of between 10 and 30 per cent.”
Jones noted that jurisdictions that have enacted competition in public service delivery usually begin with functions like building and fleet maintenance and IT services first: “Ontario could also bring competition to bear in areas such as food services, fleet and provincial park maintenance, upkeep of provincial buildings and permit inspections.”
Jones said other benefits of the Ontario PC plan for competition for government services include:
Flexibility during peak demand: Seasonal changes and economic conditions may cause staffing needs to fluctuate. Contracting allows government to obtain additional help on shorter notice when required.
Quality improvements: A competitive process encourages bidders to offer the best possible service quality to win out over their rivals.
Access to outside expertise: Contracting allows government to obtain staff expertise that they would not normally have in-house, or on an as-needed basis.
“Ideas like these can make our province a leader in innovation again, while reducing the size and cost of government to safeguard front-line services like health and education,” Jones said. “And my Ontario PC Caucus colleagues and I are determined to make them a reality.”