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Managing public utilities: the American way

da Cruz, Nuno F. and Berg, Sanford V. and Marques, Rui Cunha (2011) Managing public utilities: the American way. PURC working papers, 1. University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.

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Abstract

This paper considers the institutional and regulatory framework of local infrastructure services in Florida and examines how decision-makers perceive the governance structures of publicly-owned utilities in this state. It should be of interest to a broad audience, particularly to European practitioners that are unfamiliar with the rules and practices that frame municipal utilities in the U.S. Many countries pursued reforms that were mainly rooted in the New Public Management ideas where setting targets, measuring performance and applying rewards or sanctions are standard procedures. However, as our paper suggests, it seems that there are other ways of protecting the public interest and promoting efficiency and accountability. After reviewing the theory, the study describes the current system in terms of rate setting, investments, consumer protection and quality of service. A state-wide survey was developed to identify potential sources of tension between managers and politicians. The responses were supplemented by interviews with managers, enabling the authors to identify good practices of local governance, including the de-politicization of the decision-making and the managerial attention to sustainable approaches to funding infrastructure.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://warrington.ufl.edu/centers/purc/
Additional Information: © 2011 The Authors
Divisions: LSE Cities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE Cities (Cities Programme)
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2014 13:45
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 11:22
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/59800

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