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Democratic accountability for outsourced government services [electronic resource]

Publication Date
  • Contracting Out
  • Privatization
  • Public Administration
  • Public Contracts
  • Law
  • Political Science


Public administration scholars have raised serious concerns about loss of democratic accountability when government services are outsourced to private forprofit businesses because of the very different values and missions of the two sectors. Particular concern for democratic accountability arises when administrative discretion is delegated to governments' private sector agents. Furthermore, if contractors may adversely impact individual rights or interests, or may adversely impact vulnerable populations, special democratic responsibilities arise. It is these three features of outsourcing transactions that constitute the elements of the proposed framework used in this research in order to assess need for heightened attention to democratic accountability. Some scholars argue for application of constitutional and administrative law norms to some government contractors.

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