Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review

Volume 2Issue 1
Article

Government by Contract: Considering a Public Service Ethics to Match the Reality of the “Blended” Public Work Force

Dan Guttman | 2 Emory Corp. Governance & Accountability Rev. 1 (2015)

The Iraq War brought to public attention the reality that much of the basic work of government is done by contractors, and that the government’s ability to account for its contractors cannot be taken for granted. What, for example, if the rules that protect us against official abuse are not applied to those who, in fact, increasingly do the government’s work? What if, for example, the presumption that officials have the capacity to oversee contractors runs against the reality that they do not and, indeed, that the work of contractor management is itself often contracted out? What should we do then? First, we can abandon the premises of mid-20th century contract reform. Second, we can hope that current attention will permit us to “muddle through.” Finally, there is the possibility that we can begin to think of approaches—new tools, if not entirely new visions—to employ if the presumption of regularity cannot be assumed. In this Article, Dan Guttman discusses one such tool.

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