PSIRU researches the privatisation and restructuring of public services around the world, with special focus on water, energy, waste management, and healthcare.

It produces reports and maintains an extensive database on the multinational companies involved. This core database and website are financed by Public Services International (PSI), the global confederation of public service trade unions.

PSIRU reports

  • Jul 2014

    This briefing paper outlines why taxation is important, the problems of tax base erosion and profit sharing, identifies the main tax havens and off-shore centres in Latin America and outlines tax justice campaigns in Latin America.

  • Jul 2014

    This report shows how public-private partnerships (PPPs) and other forms of large-scale development finance schemes promoted by DFID, which involve the transfer of public service provision to...

  • Jul 2014

    This report examines the high pay of CEOs of a group of companies delivering public services, e.g. Serco, Capita and G4S.

  • Jul 2014

    It is often assumed that privatisation or PPPs will result in greater levels of technical efficiency. That is, the private sector can always deliver a given level of service with less input costs than the public sector. Politicians, media, academics and consultants frequently refer to ‘private sector efficiency’.  This assumption is often...

  • May 2014

    The report explains why public spending, in particular on public services, is economically and socially vital and not an economic liability. Rising public spending has been part of economic growth for over 100 years; it supports half the formal employment in the world, much of it in the private sector; it delivers services like healthcare and...

  • May 2014

    Shared Services is a concept used by the private sector and for the last decade, shared services systems have been introduced to central  government departments, as a way of saving money.  Evaluations, by the National Audit Office, show that the most striking feature of many schemes is that there are no savings and the quality of services...

  • Apr 2014

    This report provides background to the current court case and public debate about the privatised Jakarta water concessions. It seeks to provide international empirical experience concerning privatisation and the role of public sector in water services...

  • Apr 2014

    This report provides a profile of Shield, a company providing security services to public and private sector agencies in the UK, India, United States, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Australia.  The company has recent won a contract to...

  • Apr 2014

    ‘Revitalising Local Government’ is the Final Report of the New South Wales (NSW) Independent Local Government Review Panel, published in October 2013.  This review of the Final Report is written from the perspective of the experience of the UK,...

  • Apr 2014

    PPPs are now being promoted worldwide by global institutions and consultants. Development banks, national governments, the EU and donor agencies are providing subsidised public finance specifically for PPPs. Countries subject to IMF regimes, and other developing countries, are being subjected to political pressures and marketing campaigns.  But...

PSIRU briefs