Chairman of subcommittee overseeing corrections spending hails private vendor for food service

May 1, 2013

State Prison in Jackson
State Prison in Jackson
Credit AP Photo

  

The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections says hiring a private vendor to provide food service for Michigan prisons is a victory for taxpayers.

State Senator John Proos spoke with WMUK's Gordon Evans about the decision announced Tuesday. It was a reversal for the Corrections Department and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (Detroit News Story). 

Proos says the Corrections Department would save about $16-million if the agreement is executed. He says a company like Aramark which is in line for the contract (Detroit Free Press story) knows how to manage its resources and save money. 

Proos says privatization shouldn't be done for its own sake. But he says when savings can be shown, the state should pursue contracts with private contractors. 

When asked about concerns that private vendors will make a low bid for the contract, then ask for change orders that add cost to the deal, Proos says that has happened in the past. He says lawmakers have to provide proper oversight to make sure that taxpayers get value out of contracts with private vendors.