FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Florida communities struggle to provide quality public services with ever-shrinking local government budgets, a newly formed Jacksonville-based research institute, led by senior executives and former local government officials, today announced plans for a trend setting one-day "Florida Privatization Conference" - the first of its type in the nation. For the first time in Florida history, local government leaders will join private industry leaders to discuss the rapidly growing government services privatization movement.
Privatization, a system of contracting public services to private industry providers, is proving to be an essential tool for governments to help solve major fiscal and capital investment challenges. In 2011, virtually every government entity -- federal, state and local -- has been scrambling to identify innovative ways to cut costs and do more with fewer taxpayer dollars.
Policymakers in every state, since 2008, have been faced with mounting budget deficits that require new approaches to delivering public services at lower costs. Prior to 2008, most state and local governments experienced robust revenue growth and steady increases in overall spending. Since 2008, declining economic conditions have forced governments to continually reduce their budgets, creating significant challenges and inabilities to meet basic service levels.
On June 24th in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, at the epicenter of the nation's municipal financial storm, the Government Services Privatization Institute (GSPI) will launch the first in a series of regional U.S. local government privatization conferences designed to provide practical guidance, real-world case studies and best practices surrounding the budget balancing privatization of local government services.
The Florida Privatization Conference is a "must-attend" event for state, municipal and private industry stakeholders seeking to create solutions through partnerships that maximize the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of public services. The conference will be held at The Harbor Beach Marriott-Fort Lauderdale.
Included in the list of key conference speakers will be Leonard Gilroy, National Director of Government Reform for The Reason Foundation, a nationally recognized expert in privatization and author and editor of the most comprehensive reports on the privatization movement across America. Also presenting will be Maureen McAvey, Executive Vice President of the Urban Land Institute, who will discuss the critical role that private-public partnerships play in stemming the tide of deteriorating city, state and national infrastructure.
Other notable speakers and case study session panelists will include Dr. Henry "Hank" Fishkind, one of Florida's premier economists and public sector financial advisors and former member of Governor Bush's Council of Economic Advisors; Bob Dyer, former CEO of The Energy Authority (TEA); Frank Attkisson, Osceola County Commissioner and former Mayor of Kissimmee; Adam Hollingsworth, Chief of Staff, City of Jacksonville, representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation's public-private partnership initiative, Kerri Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jacksonville/Duval County, and Stephanie Kopelousos, former Secretary of the Florida DOT.
GSPI, according to the former CEO of the Jacksonville Electric Authority, Walt Bussells, is the go-to source for states, local governments and private industry stakeholders seeking to create cost saving privatization initiatives and public-private partnerships that maximize the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of government services.
"GSPI's value proposition is straightforward," Bussells explained. "GSPI provides a unique clearinghouse for up-to-date privatization information and exchanges of ideas through education, training, research and news delivered online and through learning experiences, leadership summits and symposiums. GSPI has been founded on the premise that government can deliver public services with the financial budgets available to them. GSPI's role is to provide the knowledge resources necessary to create viable cost-effective privatization solutions."
Bussells said the Florida Privatization Conference will be by invitation only and is expected to draw up to 400 local government and private industry attendees from around the state. For more information on GSPI and its upcoming event, go to www.privatizationevents.com, Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/privatize, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/GSPI/200161573355627?ref=ts or call Jenny Hiester at (904) 357-5117.
SOURCE Government Services Privatization Institute (GSPI)