About the Public Services Foundation

“Like asking a fish to ride a bicycle”

“Like asking a fish to ride a bicycle” is how a recent Guardian article described the belief that the private sector can do a good job running public services.

As the article points out, the root of the problem is that businesses and the public sector have fundamentally different objectives. For businesses, success is measured by the return for shareholders. For public services, the measure of success is how well they are meeting public needs.

Bonnie Lysyk is just the latest in a long list of government auditors general to find privatization proponents playing costly numbers games

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk's revelation on Dec. 9, 2014, that privatization has cost the province more than $8 billion should come as no surprise: she's the third Ontario auditor general in a row to debunk claims that P3 privatization schemes save money.

Running government like a business failing

In an article published in the Globe and Mail earlier this year, public administration expert Donald Savoie argued that running government like a business has failed. The number of public employees serving the public has dropped, while the number managing processes has increased. He argues the failure reflect the very different role the public and private sectors are expected to play.


Subscribe to Public Services Foundation of Canada RSS