Service provision in Spanish municipalities: divergent outsourcing strategies

GT 2.2 Gobierno multinivel y autonomía local. La reestructuración política del territorio

Miquel Salvador Serna (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Clara Riba i Romeva

This paper aims to contribute to the academic debate concerning models of public service provision and the use of outsourcing. Several features of local government may influence the use of such instruments as a strategy to increase the flexibility of public management in the face of the rigidities of local administration. Drawing on a case study based on data from all the municipalities with over 5,000 inhabitants in a Spanish Autonomous Community, the article constructs a typology of local governments, using variables that the international literature associates with externalisation. The results permit different local public service delivery models to be identified, and illustrate the aims and scope of outsourcing as a strategy of public management reform.