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Privatization of public services has been the subject of considerable debate during the last thirty years. Critics of privatization have focused on lack of accountability and questionable measures of cost savings and operating efficiency. This paper explores the issue of accountability in a general sense by focusing on the program evaluation aspects of accountability relationships. In developing its first privately managed prison, the state of Western Australia established an independent statutory body, the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (OICS), to provide external scrutiny, accountability and greater assurances regarding the achievement of correctional service objectives.
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