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Government Outsourcing

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 13 years and 184 days ago. Viewed 2,417 times. #1
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Everybody Wins

I read this comment on >>Virginia's server outage of August 2010:

Virginia’s IT was outsourced in part to Northrup Grumman, and was supposed to be a model of privatizing state IT in the nation. However, Virginia’s experience shows how privatizing can fail, and how outsourcing companies do not necessarily provide the service that is desired.

(I found this on an RSS feed for one of the sites I have in Google Reader; the author has since removed the post, which makes me wonder if I should really be quoting it here.)

No matter what the contract said, there was only one goal in privatizing the service: Cost Reduction. Virginia was interested in providing the same level of service to its state departments for less money.

As noted, states are not exactly known for being able to fully fund all their obligations even badly. It is unlikely that a private company could take the same amount of money (or less) and magically be able to fund full redundancy in a manner that the state couldn't.

Outsourcing, however, probably provides one extra feature to the state: it outsources blame so that when things like this happen (and they will), the state can just finger-point to the contractor.

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