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It’s no secret many privatization consultants work both sides of the street – advising governments to privatize while at the same time working for the firms waiting to take over. The latest evidence comes from the private prison industry, where two US experts advising Ontario and Nova Scotia are in hot water after being linked to the corporation that won the contracts.

The advisors played a key role in both projects, including preparing tender documents that could have given them the inside track on bidding. The Nova Scotia project was cancelled after the consultants’ firm had been awarded the contract. The Ontario ’super jail’ is now being run privately by the Management and Training Corp. The two have been fined by the Florida Commission on Ethics. The revelations also discredit a research unit run by one of the consultants that was supposed to provide objective analysis on the corrections sector.