Social service problem is systemic Friday, February 24, 2006
Richard J. Weader II Framingham Tab
The root cause of Framingham's problems with social service contractors like SMOC is the state system of contracting out social services.  Even though the contractors spend state money under rules set forth in their contracts, there is little oversight from the state and little apparent concern for the effects of what the contractors do.

This system persists because of two huge advantages to the political class that runs the state: plausible deniability and money.

If a state agency did what the social service contractors are doing in Framingham, the Legislature and Governor would nave hear the end of it.  By contracting everything out, they can deny all responsibility.  The same plausible deniability applies to the MWRA, the Turnpike Authority and hundreds of other similar state bodies.

As for the money, the social service contractor's executives are paid much more than state employees and can afford much bigger political contributions.  The contractor agencies can hire lobbyists that also make contributions, and they can pay legislators to serve on their boards of directors.  The state contracts out billions in services, and it would be good to know how much gets funneled back to politicians.

As long as the state contracts for services the way it does, Framingham is going to have problems.

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