Public officials in the human service delivery system must wrestle with complex decisions regarding utilization of agencies in the nonpublic sector to deliver publicly funded services. Data from a survey of 167 agencies in a major metropolitan area suggest that there are still substantial differences in priorities and service approaches of public and nonpublic agencies. These differences suggest that public officials may need to devote more resources to ascertaining whether and when public agencies should themselves deliver publicly funded services and to strengthening public monitoring of contracts in the private sector.

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