Abstracts: August 26th, 1998

Lessons for the UK from the US experience

Smyth J D The International Journal of Public Sector Management, (UK), Vol 10 No 1/2 97 Start page: 21 No of pages: 26

Compares competitive tendering practices in the UK and the USA in the procurement of public services, reporting on field research in the USA aimed at identifying: where and how competition is used in the procurement of public services; whether the practice is effective for long-term care; and whether there are any lessons for the UK. Considers what is actually meant by competition, why it is attractive to governments and the development of competition into a component of public policy. Discusses the effects of competition on consumers, citizens, providers and purchasers; and looks at a number of problems associated with competition. Reaches several conclusions: wholesale imposition of compulsory tendering will either at best fail to optimize the benefits of competition, and at worst create problems for government purchasers, providers, consumers and citizens; competition is most useful when there are many purchasers and many providers; and government decisions about competition affect the role of government and the development of democratically controlled services.

Database: TMA: Top Management Abstracts MDA: Marketing & Distribution Abstracts RMI: Rapid Management Intelligence
Style: Comparative/evaluation. Reference: 26AN058

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