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Accountability in Social Service Contracting the State Action Doctrine and Beyond

JHHSA, Vol. 27 No. 3, (2004)

The privatization of government services in the United States
is not a new phenomenon. The growth of privatization has meant a
greater role for private enterprise in the public sector. However, the
privatization of social services leads inexorably to questions about
where the responsibility for protecting citizen rights lies. Furthermore,
as a greater number of public services are contracted out to private
service providers, accountability may be redefined or de-emphasized.
This study focuses on the current state of privatization and the
constitutional accountability of private social service providers. It also
suggests alternative methods to ensure accountability to service
recipients and the public in the contracting process.

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