Government Delivery vs Outsourcing essay

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Briefly describe a program or service currently provided by government and that could be outsourced.

The federal government can reduce its civilian workforce to about one million non postal employees through outsourcing. Hira & Anil (2008) say that the federal government and some state governments have begun to outsource public sector jobs such as welfare and food stamp service jobs. One of the major services the government can outsource is the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) program which recently added over 60,000 government employees to maintain airport security (Freeman & Minow, 2009).  

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) function was previously privatized. The federal government should therefore outsource the Transportation security Agency (TSA) program so as to procure service at the lowest possible price and at the same maintain the highest possible levels of employment.  The increasing demand for TSA services, global fiscal pressures and the US public sector capability crisis add up to irresistible pressure for governments to do more with less (Linder, 2004).

Through outsourcing the TSA services, the federal government will save money, extend its capabilities and improve air transport security services provided to citizens and businesses. Linder (2004) noted that government officials and executives expect outsourcing to improve both the cost and the performance of TSA and create distinctly better value for taxpayers. According to Linder conventional outsourcing principles advise executives to outsource non-inherently governmental jobs and noncore processes so that they can focus attention on more important matters (2004). Sidlow & Henschen (2008) indicated that outsourcing has been a favorite government activity since the Clinton administration reduced the federal workforce to its lowest level in decades.

Explain at least two benefits of outsourcing this program or service and at least two benefits of keeping it a government service.

The benefits of outsourcing TSA services outweigh its disadvantages. Outsourcing plays a fundamental role in the country’s economy and reflects longer-term changes in the global economy (Hira & Anil, 2008). Outsourcing government TSA programs and services is good because it helps them cut their expenses. Ramanathan (2009) says that through outsourcing its TSA services, the federal government will achieve significant cost savings and at the same time improve quality of service, obtain expert skills, improve processes and allow them to focus on the agencies core competencies. Outsourcing is an effective cost saving strategy when applied properly. Through outsourcing TSA services, the agency will accelerate the development of innovative products and services at far lower cost (Ramanathan, 2009). Outsourcing the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) will facilitate rapid organizational change, help the agency launch new strategies and reshape the agency’s boundaries by partnering with other agencies to achieve rapid, substantial and sustainable improvement in performance.

One of the main benefits of keeping the TSA a government service is because outsourcing can adversely affect the provision of the service by targeting some significant policy jobs for outsourcing and by leaving inadequate members of staff to oversee the outsourced jobs (Freeman & Minow, 2009). When TSA services are outsourced individuals in policy positions will be stripped of adequate staff, and therefore essential government functions such as security may be neglected or overlooked. Through outsourcing, operations in the Transportation Service Agency (TSA) will be exposed to serious leadership deficiencies. In addition, Hira & Anil (2008) argue that outsourcing is taking away the workforce that has been a key part of the country’s winning formula. They further argue that if the federal government allows outsourcing to wipe out the country’s base of technical workers, this will leave the nation vulnerable to foreign powers.         

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