TRENTON – Yesterday, Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order creating a New Jersey Privatization Task Force to develop recommendations for a comprehensive approach to converting certain areas of government operations to privately-run operations in an effort to cut the size and cost of state government.
Facing state employee contracts entered into by the Corzine administration that include raises of between 7 percent and 11 percent for thousands of public employees in 2011, Christie said he must do all that is necessary to blunt those contractual obligations that will heavily burden budgets for Fiscal 2011 and Fiscal 2012.
“We are stuck with this problem, but that does not mean I am barred from finding a way to fix it,” said Christie. “I don’t think you will find private sector employees anywhere enjoying the luxury of an 11 percent raise next year. It was a promise that the state cannot afford and should never have been made in the first place.”
The task force was created to examine areas where government services and functions can be provided by the private sector.
“Delivering programs and services to our citizens is government’s primary job, but I have asked the Task Force to look for places where we can do this in a more efficient, cost-effective way by having the private sector do it,” Christie added. “This full review will allow the Lt. Governor and me to make carefully informed decisions on where and how to do this as we continue to responsibly manage state government. It will also make recommendations for how privatization could improve operations and reduce costs for municipalities, school districts and counties.”
The Task Force will be chaired by former Congressman Dick Zimmer and include Todd Caliguire, Kathleen Davis, John Galandak, and Dr. P. Kelly Hatfield.
According to Executive Order 17, the Task Force will serve without compensation and be dissolved after issuing its final report on May 31. The report will include specific recommendations for privatization initiatives for implementation by state government during the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2010.
Among other things, the Task Force will look at issues, including:
- Which government functions are or may be appropriate for privatization;
- Current legal and practical impediments to privatization; and
- Ensure that scope and quality of services is not inappropriately diminished by privatization.
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