Gov. Walker Halts Efforts to Privatize the Design Functions of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2017
Juneau – Representative Justin Parish (D-Juneau) is praising a decision by Governor Walker that will preserve essential state jobs and prevent layoffs that could impact Alaska’s roads, bridges, airports, and public buildings. Rep. Parish has learned that Governor Walker decided not to pursue a costly feasibility study to examine fully privatizing the design functions of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. The Governor’s decision preserves hundreds of state jobs threatened by a successful privatization effort.
“The Governor made a wise choice to not spend precious state money on a privatization effort that will cost the state more money in the long run and undermine an essential function of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities,” said Rep. Parish. “I want jobs for Alaskans in Alaska and the Governor’s decision does just that. Privatization has its place, but I looked at the states where similar privatization efforts have been implemented and found no evidence that it was saving any money at all.”
In addition to halting the privatization feasibility study, 76 positions within the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) that were considered for elimination will instead be maintained.
“Often, privatization of essential government services results in less service and more cost, which is exactly what we don’t need as we face some monumental fiscal challenges,” said Rep. Parish. “I want to thank the Governor for listening to the concerns raised about this privatization idea and coming to the same conclusion I did that any plan that would cost Alaskans jobs, money, and safety is not worth spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to study.”
Currently, over half of the design functions of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities are outsourced to third parties. Rep. Parish has raised concerns that fully privatizing those functions could force resident talent out of state and negatively impact the availability of federal transportation money to offset personnel costs within DOT&PF.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.