Lawmaker: Privatization Policy Board Lacks Important Resources

UPEA has an interest in preserving efficient, effective, and responsible governmental functions. In 1989, the Legislature established the Privatization Policy Board, now called the Free Market Protection and Privatization Board, to monitor and manage any potential privatization within state agencies. UPEA recommends names of two board members to the Governor’s Office to be appointed to represent public employee interests on the board. Before 2013, board members received no per diems for service on the board.

Lack of resources is inhibiting the board’s progress, Rep. Kay Christofferson, R-Lehi, told a Sept. 20 meeting of the Legislature’s Government Operations Interim Committee. Christofferson, the board’s chairman, said lawmakers failed to fund a staff position for the board in both 2016 and 2017. Without staff, it is difficult for board members to coordinate meetings and review whether certain services performed by existing state agencies should be privatized. The board has held fewer meetings despite a state law that requires it to meet quarterly.

Christofferson asked lawmakers to consider funding $70,000 in ongoing money during the 2018 legislative session for the board’s operations.

Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, asked what the board will do if it doesn’t get its funding request. Christofferson said it could become a volunteer board, but reiterated the important role the board plays and said he hopes a position will be funded..

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