Does it make sense to make some government services worker owned and operated?

One of the things that come up in the Chamber of Commerce’s budget breakfast is the idea that portions of the civil service could be restructured via entrepreneurial initiatives. This is something I’m wholly in favor of.  Workers should be given more of a stake in success of the services they provide.  We should aim to give ownership and control over some of the existing government services directly to the workers who provide them.

Erica Smith, executive director of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, said: “With the potential restructuring of the Civil Service and the potential for redundancies and loss of jobs, maybe there is a way to incentivise entrepreneurs so privatisation comes into play.”

Let’s take garbage collection as an example of an area that could be converted into a set of worker owned and operated enterprises.

Create a couple companies and give one a set term contract for each of the east end parishes and another a set term contract for each of the west end parishes, each contract matching the existing rates it costs government to operate those services.  Give each company an interest free loan to purchase the existing equipment from the government.  Then either make the organizations worker owned cooperatives or register them on the Bermuda Stock Exchange and give each worker ownership shares in the organization.  Stipulate that after the contracts expire parish councils will be provided the budget to choose their own providers.

What are the flaws with such a concept?  Would it be possible to move much of the maintenance and service responsibilities

 

Comments

comments