NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Privatization in New Jersey

March 2, 2011

Governor Chris Christie is embracing privatization as part of his larger efforts to streamline state government in New Jersey.  In March 2010, less than three months into his first term, Christie issued an executive order creating the New Jersey Privatization Task Force, a short-lived advisory body established to identify a comprehensive set of privatization tools and strategies the state could apply to save at least $50 million in fiscal year 2010-2011, says the Reason Foundation.

The Task Force outlined a series of institutionalization strategies designed to make smart privatization a routine part of public management in Trenton.  Notably, the Task Force recommended that Governor Christie announce as an administration priority that achieving efficiency through private sector competition become standard policy for all state agencies.

  • One of the key recommendations for doing so involves the establishment of a centralized privatization entity for the state that would fulfill functions similar to Florida's Council on Efficient Government.
  • Florida's Council on Efficient Government is a privatization "center of excellence" established in 2004 during former Governor Jeb Bush's tenure, and is a key component of a strategy that ultimately helped his administration realize over $550 million in cost savings through over 130 privatization and competition initiatives.
  • Additional Task Force recommendations on institutionalization include applying a set of best practices in project selection and contracting, creating a process for unsolicited privatization proposals and ensuring that privatization initiatives reflect the state's environmental policy priorities.

Source: Leonard Gilroy, Harris Kenny, Lisa Snell, Shirley Ybarra and Tyler Millhouse, "State Government Privatization:  Governor Christie Advancing Privatization in New Jersey," Reason Foundation, February 16, 2011.

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