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Sunday, March 14, 2010

a further case for privatisation/ outsourcing

When the Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Committee eventually takes charge, in furtherance of the 74th amendment bill, it will have to take on city water supply, power supply, public bus transport services ( presently being handled by the para-statals), and possibly even functions like traffic policing, in addition to the 31 obligatory and 21 discretionary functions the BBMP is currently handling (check http://www.praja.in/en/projects/2907/announcement/bbmp-elections-faq).

It's plainly inconceivable (besides being inadvisable) that the government will be able to mobilise the capacity to handle all these functions directly. As such, outsourcing of most of the functions is plainly inevitable as we go forward. And, while doing so, if you go by the traditional 'lowest tender' route, you will land up with the kind of problems we have been facing all these years - poor quality, delays, etc, eventually leading to the costs to the city going up in very many ways - both tangible and intangible. Therefore, there has necessarily to be processes of proper assessment and approval of vendors in order to qualify them for bidding to take up the jobs. Apparently, this is where the problems have been all these years. And, the solution lies plainly in instituting proper regulatory mechanisms - check http://www.praja.in/en/blog/murali772/2008/07/30/just-how-regulate-wisely-remains-question-today

While helping to apply for a UK family visitor visa for my m-i-l, I notice that a large part of the preliminary work has been outsourced to a commercial company - VFS Global (check http://www.vfs-uk-in.com/), who go about the job in a most professional way. A friend whose daughter took up a job in the UK recently tells me that as a part of the process of checking her credentials, the agency sent its people to physically verify all particulars with some three neighbors. That's the thoroughness with which they undertake the job. Compared to that, I suppose I don't need to elaborate on how the police goes about the job here.

There needn't be a debate any more - outsourcing is very clearly the way forward - check http://www.praja.in/en/blog/murali772/2008/01/23/bangaloreing-voters-list-review also.


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