Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The state is utterly clueless on the public-private divide

"Firms with anonymous names such as Serco, Capita, Carillion and Jarvis build and run Britain's roads, railways, hospitals, schools, pension services, speed cameras and congestion charges, and are believed by the Treasury to be 'private'. Yet they are merely capitalist redefinitions of state-financed activities.

"Most outrageous are those involved in the government computer programmes, with Britain (according to the Guardian last year) reported to be the worst of the seven biggest users of computers in competitive supply, negotiating competence and scrap rate. Firms such as EDS have been walking away from the Treasury with huge sums in their pockets for kit that nobody appears to want. They are the unacceptable face of crypto-nationalisation…

"Jacqui Smith and Alan Johnson have neither the competence nor the courage to end the absurdity of the ID card and NHS computers, both victims of high-pressure consultancy with billions of pounds at stake." —Simon Jenkins

1 comment:

yokel said...

Equally, I think the State is utterly clueless about the divide between government and charities. As it contracts out more and more of its duties to charities, they have effectively become another government department. There are many charities so dependent on the income from government contracts that they would fold if the business were allocated to others.