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Abstract

Managing contracts is a complex process, often exacerbated by high transaction costs inherent in negotiating, implementing, and monitoring contract relationships with vendors. Through analyses of data from a 1997 International City/County Management Association survey of municipal and county governments, the way in which municipal and county governments respond to transaction cost factors inherent in contract service delivery is examined. The results of the analyses demonstrate that when governments contract for services in contexts that risk contract failure, they engage in a variety of monitoring techniques to improve their ability to monitor and correct vendor performance. © 2003 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.