Convention 2010 delegates voted to undertake study of the issue of Privatization. Local and state Leagues across the country participated in the study and a position was announced in June 2012.
The League of Women Voters of the United States be-lieves that when governmental entities consider the transfer of governmental services, assets and/or functions to the private sector, the community impact and goals of such transfers must be identified and considered. Further, the LWV believes that transparency, accountability, and preservation of the common good must be ensured.
The League believes that some government provided services could be delivered more efficiently by private entities; however, privatization is not appropriate in all circumstances. Privatization is not appropriate when the provision of services by the government is necessary to preserve the common good, to protect national or local security or to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of society. While the League recognizes that the definition of core govern-ment services will vary by level of government and community values, services fundamental to the gov-ernance of a democratic society should not be privat-ized in their entirety. These services include the electoral process, justice system, military, public safety, public health, education, transportation, environ-mental protection and programs that protect and provide basic human needs.
The decision to privatize a public service should be made after an informed, transparent planning process and thorough analysis of the implications of privatizing service delivery. While specific criteria will vary by service and local conditions, the League believes the following considerations apply to most decisions to transfer public services, assets and functions to the private sector:
The League believes that the enactment of state laws and issuance of regulations to control the process and delivery of privatization within a state’s jurisdiction is often appropriate and desirable. Best practices for government regulation of the privatization process should include the following requirements:
Statement of Position on Privatization as announced by the National Board in June 2012.