Understanding Competition and Market-Based Government

Mar 23, 2004Mar 26, 2004


Session One: Tuesday, March 23
Market-Based Government:  Competition,
its Impact, and its Varying Forms

Jacques Gansler, PhD. 
Director, Center for Public Policy
and Private Enterprise
Roger C. Lipitz
Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise
University of Maryland 

Session Two:  Wednesday, March 24
The Developing Story of Market-Based Government 
Deidre Lee
Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition
Department of Defense

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Session Three:  Thursday, March 25
Identifying & Using Best Providers: 
Stories from the People Involved
William J. Leidinger

Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Information Officer
Department of Education

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Session Four:  Friday, March 26
Market-Based Government:  A Candid Luncheon Discussion

Opening remarks: Sen. Craig Thomas 
Moderator:  John Kamensky, Mercatus Center Visiting Fellow 
Associate Partner and Senior Fellow
IBM Center for the Business of Government

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At all levels of government, there is a contentious debate underway about the various ways in which the public sector can undertake a specific activity.  This debate represents a significant evolution in the changing role of government.  While we all agree that the government is obligated to allocate public funds in the manner that attains the “best results,” the tools for achieving and maintaining excellence have varying levels of effectiveness, can be controversial, and are often manipulated for political advantage. 

Outsourcing, competitive sourcing, privatization, public-private partnerships, and government entrepreneurship/franchising are among the many methods by which governments attempt to ensure effective, high-quality delivery of services.  Each tool relies, to a degree, on the premise that competition breads excellence.  If this is truly the case, then how can policymakers use competition effectively and appropriately to achieve the best results?  What mechanisms are needed to ensure transparency and fairness in the competitive process?

Speakers in this program, including prominent academics and practitioners, will attempt to clarify the debate and provide an overview of what’s happening in market-based government. Current and former administrators from both sides of the aisle will provide Hill staff with insightful lessons from the front line and discuss the wide range of approaches to achieving results through a competitive process.

Designed specifically for senior committee staff and federal personnel, participants will gain a fuller understanding of competition in the public sector and its implications on the Congressional oversight, budget, and appropriations process.  Attendees will develop a helpful set of tools for effective public sector management, as well as a greater understanding of the following issues:

  • Market-based government
  • Competition within the public sector in its various forms
  • The means of identifying best providers and the benefits of using them
  • Barriers to successful competition.