Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

David A. Kuemmel


This paper investigates the current movement on the local, state and federal levels towards the contracting out of public services. The public sector is being forced by changing political, social, and economic conditions to investigate the private sector for the provision of services to the public. This "privatization" of services to the public is now being used to provide a variety of services, including fire protection, ambulance service, and solid waste collection, among others. Government has traditionally produced those services which it has decided should be provided to the public. However, this in-house production of services is only one method by which these services may be provided. Services may also be provided by a combination of the public and private sectors or may be delivered exclusively by the private sector. In practical terms, "privatization" is a process by which government engages the private sector to provide capital, or otherwise finance government programs through various types of contractual arrangements. Contracting out the delivery of public services to the private sector is just one method by which public services have been privatized. "Contracting Out" occurs when government engages the private sector to perform work previously performed by public employees.