Interim Committee Considers Funding and Organizational Changes for the Free Market Protection and Privatization Board

The Free Market Protection and Privatization Policy Board has a goal to determine whether a service performed by state agency could be privatized to save the state and taxpayers money.

At the Oct. 17 Government Operations Interim Committee meeting, Rep. Kay Christofferson, R-Lehi, requested that a bill file be opened to secure $70,000 in ongoing funding for the board. If the funding is not granted, the board may be disassembled due to recent inactivity.

The $70,000 that would be requested is half what has previously been granted. “We believe that ongoing funding at this level will ensure stability in the effectiveness of the board, and will significantly reduce the historical expense of the board,” the board said in a statement to the committee.

Christofferson, the committee’s chairman, also mentioned that the board is considering changing its size and composition to improve member participation. It also has discussed removing exemptions for state entities, such as higher education, that now are exempt from board oversight. Currently, the board consists of 17 members of the public and private sectors. The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) occupies two seats on the board to ensure fair treatment of public employees when decisions are made.  Nine members must be present and vote for the board to approve a change. Because members are not granted travel expenses, it is rare to have all necessary members present.

The committee unanimously approved the motion to open a bill file, and the bill’s language will be presented at its next meeting. UPEA will only support changes to the privatization policy board as long as it continues to hold two seats.

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is accepting applications from current UPEA members interested in applying for a seat on the Privatization Policy Board.  Members interested in applying must send a letter of intent and a resume to:

UPEA

Attn:  Kendle

1000 Bellwood Lane

Murray, UT  84123

Email kendle@upea.net

UPEA encourages members in good standing to submit a letter of intent and resume is Dec. 5, 2018.

The appointment is for four years and duties will include:

  • Reviewing whether certain services performed by existing state agencies should be privatized to provide the same types and quality of services at a lower cost;
  • Reviewing specific requests for to determine whether privatization would be feasible and result in cost savings;
  • Reviewing issues related to agency competition with the private sector with the intent of eliminating unfair competition

For a detailed list of Privatization Policy Board duties, please refer to Utah Code Section 63-55a-3.

 

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