Privatization 101

What is Privatization?

Privatization involves handing over control of public functions to private companies.  To keep it simple, we place privatization contracts into two categories:Contract

  • Service privatization: The government pays a contractor to provide public services
  • Asset privatization: Typically, the government receives money for the building, long-term lease, or purchase of revenue-producing infrastructure, facilities or other assets.  See our page on public-private partnerships for additional information. 

Risks of Privatization

Privatization and contracting out involve giving up control of public structures we all rely on to private companies.  Once a public service or asset is privatized, we, the public, lose the ability to have a voice in decisions affecting that service or asset.  We also lose the ability to request and view important information related to the privatized function.  Without proper information and a forum in which to voice opinions, the public is effectively shut out of the decision-making process.  These services and structures are no lo