I have been reading the articles on the Grand Jury with great interest. While there are significant problems with the current operations, various Grand Juries have made some valuable contributions as the "watchdogs of governmental operations." One specific audit was done two years ago on the "contracting-out" practices of Los Angeles County.
The report stated that the county has overstated its savings by failing to include indirect costs, such as preparation, monitoring of performance, administration and the use of county materials and supplies. They also cited the loss of control, the ability of contractors to hold government hostage and raise costs arbitrarily after the county sells off its equipment, eliminates the work force and has "gone out of a particular business."
Another issue cited was that county managers are rewarded with incentives and pay increases for the number of private contracts they develop.
As we all unfortunately know, politicians are often an arrogant breed. Once in office, they seem to forget that they are elected to serve the people's interests. With the high cost of being elected to office, they must often meet the needs of large campaign contributors rather than the needs of the people and the community. Naturally, these private contractors who "feed at the public trough" contribute more money than a working taxpayer, who is working to make ends meet.