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UVI SPONSORS PRIVATIZATION FORUM

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Throughout the Caribbean, the U.S. and the world, partnerships between the public and private sector – also called privatization – have had a mixed record of effectiveness.
Where it has been successful for workers, and those who receive government services, a well-informed public has been a key ingredient. To help residents of the USVI become better informed about what privatization is and is not, the University of the Virgin Islands' Eastern Caribbean Center (ECC) has developed a non-partisan public education project on privatization/public-private partnerships.
The public education project provides general information on privatization/public-private partnerships. In the coming months, ECC will research and prepare additional non-partisan information on specific areas that could be considered for public-partnerships, and other public policy issues based on interests expressed by the community.
If our community fails to be well informed about public policy issues, we will be at a disadvantage when we are faced with public policy decisions or when seated at the negotiation table.
UVI-ECC does not take a "pro" or "con" position in its public service ads, brochure or in the forum on privatization that will be held this month. UVI-ECC anticipates that the groundwork laid by this effort may stimulate informed dialogue and debate in other arenas within the territory.
The November forum will include a representative from a non-partisan national public policy "think-tank" to give a "report card" on public-private partnerships: how have employees, services and costs been affected? What are the models that have failed or succeeded?
Presenters from the USVI will address the role of non-profit organizations as partners with government in service provision, if and when we should consider public partnerships to improve civic functions.
The project was initiated by Dr. Henry Smith, vice provost for Research and Public Service, with Dr. Frank Mills, the project coordinator. To receive a free brochure, "Privatization: A Primer for the USVI," please call 693-1020.

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