Amongst its wide-ranging legislation, France offers a new management option for its public services: public service management by private operators.
This allows the authorities in charge of the public services for supply of drinking water and sewerage to outsource the actual management of the public service for a period of time that is sufficiently long to enable the operator to amortize its specific investments, but also limited by the periodic management review which is, of course, necessary, and by compulsory re-advertising if the outsourcing is to be renewed.
The regulatory provisions have now been finalized. They allow the public authority to retain control over the public service, whilst also ensuring that customers are fully informed of the characteristics of their public service, the pricing conditions and the performance achieved by the service.
Transparency clauses in procedures for the selection of the contractor, periodic reports on the performance of the contract, and the annual report on the price and quality of the public service, which is made available to the general public by the Mayor of each municipality, are all guarantees to customers, and therefore to citizens. The durability and the efficiency of the public service depend on such guarantees.
local authorities, delegated management, governance, performances.
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