ERIC Number: EJ858752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Outsourcing Facility Work
Burke, Patrick J.; Klein, Jennifer R.
School Administrator, v66 n9 p20-23 Oct 2009
In the late 1990s, Fulton County Schools in Atlanta were looking at average enrollment growth of more than 2,500 students a year and a new source of significant revenue to drive its capital improvement program. With funding from Georgia's new special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST, for school capital needs, total revenue from the county's approved 1 percent sales tax was projected to be approximately $1.7 billion over the following decade. What could possibly go wrong with financial resources of that magnitude? A few years earlier, in 1997, the Fulton County Schools had come under public scrutiny for cost overruns and schedule problems that captured national attention. As the scrutiny continued, the Fulton County school board ordered a forensic audit of the capital program and then a moratorium on construction. With cost overruns on many projects, the board came to believe a new approach using outside expertise was necessary. The school board opted to change the way it managed construction through a type of outsourcing known as professional program management. Program management is a comprehensive method of managing a capital improvement program that covers planning, pre-design, design and construction oversight. Since outsourcing program management, the school significantly tightened controls, linking all capital improvement accounting to the school district's integrated database and software system for enterprise resource planning. All documentation, communication, contracts, change orders and payment requisitions now go through a project control system, providing Fulton County with a well-documented system that electronically archives all project activities. Outsourcing gives the county needed flexible professional staffing to execute its plans.
Descriptors: Privatization, School Construction, Program Administration, School Districts, Cost Effectiveness, School District Spending, Accountability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia