Dr Madsen Pirie spoke to a group of University of Miami students earlier this week at the ASI’s Westminster offices. He spoke about the problems raised when private firms were brought in to run public services. Extra safeguards were needed, he suggested, to make sure the whole process was transparent and fully subject to independent scrutiny. The lack of expertise on civil servants in some areas such as IT had led to some dreadful outcomes, including delays, cost over-runs and inadequate results.
The most contentious issue, and the one which interested the students most, was the use of private firms to perform what were, in essence, military duties in combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.