Privatization in Practice: Case Studies of Contracting for TANF Case Management. Balancing the Benefit and Burden of Monitoring

03/01/2003

Public agencies must weigh the benefits of monitoring against its costs. Consistent and thorough monitoring is vital in privatized welfare programs, but it requires considerable resources. In study sites with particularly exhaustive monitoring, public and private staff devote much time to gathering and reporting information. Employees of contractors in San Diego county, for example, stated that they spend considerable time on paperwork and data entry related to the countys monitoring requirements. Monitoring also involves specialized expertise. This expertise can be obtained by training internal staff or hiring outside experts, but both alternatives are likely to be time-consuming or expensive.

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