Contracting Out Community Services Essay

Contracting Out Community Services Essay

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Many countries are joining Australia with the new welfare reform strategy involved in contracting out, or privatising community services. This means that the Australian government is hiring new private agencies to provide services that were traditionally provided by public or government funded organizations. This is done so primarily to reduce costs, however the effectiveness of this new social reform strategy is debatable particularly within the employment service provision, as many claim that the quality of services have been reduced and that issues regarding accountability have began to arise.

Are private contractors more efficient in carrying out welfare services than government providers? According to Bennmarker et al (2010) many nations are reforming to the idea of contracting out or outsourcing the provisions of human services, such as health care, education, transportation, employment aid and many other social welfare benefits. These social services have been typically supplied by the public sector and are increasingly being contracted out for usually three years onto private agencies. The government decides on its new providers based on their ability to deliver services and their capacity to achieve successful results. Webster and Harding (2000) claim that the reason for this structural change is to reduce costs and is conducted in response to the changing market needs. Whereas, Jahn and Ochel (2007) state that the main aim is to use market demands to enhance the usefulness and productivity of employment welfare services. By doing this, it will hopefully assist individuals who are in need of work to obtain a job sooner rather than later. According to Gray and Agllias (2009) there are two main problems which initiated ...


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...er 2011,.

O’Brien, J 2011, ‘No magic solution: an examination of the arguments in favour of contracting out government services’, Journal of Interdisciplinary Management, vol. 7, no.1 , pp.1-9.
Sol, E & Westerveld, M 2005 Contractualism in employment services: a new form of welfare state governance, Kluwer Law International, The Netherlands.

Webster, E & Harding, G 2000, Outsourcing public employment services: the Australian experience, Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, viewed 8 October 2011, .

Wright, S & Marston, G 2011, ‘The role of non-profit organizations in the mixed economy of welfare-to-work in the UK and Australia’, Social Policy and Administration, vol.45, pp.299-318.

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