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John Tizard: Local authority officers – be ahead of the curve and advise politicians on how to move on from outsourcing

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Local government is increasingly questioning the wisdom and efficacy of traditional outsourcing of services to the business sector. Politicians and their senior officers are aware of a raft of high-profile outsourcing failures, and what is more the public is increasingly aware of these. Labour, Conservative and councils with no overall political control are taking services […]

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John Tizard: Public service markets and competitive tendering can be the antithesis of social value.

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The Government has published new guidance on the Social Value Act to help commissioners and policymakers get the most out of the legislation. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has issued the introductory guide, which it claims gives ‘practical advice’ for anyone carrying out duties under the Act for the first time, […]

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We need to know who the public sector contracts with and how they perform

John Tizard

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has told the Government that it needs to better understand the number of contracts held across departments by a single private company, and how it is performing in those contracts. This comes after the Committee considered the failure of the largest commercial further education (FE) provider, ‘learndirect’. […]

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John Tizard: The Outsourcing Debate: strategic ‘make or buy’ decisions can protect the public interest

John Tizard

The efficacy and even the ethics of public service outsourcing are being seriously questioned across the political divide but especially by the left. Similar deliberations are going on amongst public sector executives. And it would be no surprise to learn that investors, staff and executives in major outsourcing companies are wondering if this business model […]

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John Tizard and David Walker: Time to stop the ‘love-in’ with public service outsourcing

David Walker

In a new Smith Institute report, Out of contract: Time to move on from the ‘love in’ with outsourcing and PFI, we are calling for an immediate pause in all public service contracting followed by a root-and-branch review of all existing deals. This report, published on 22 January. comes in the wake of the Carillion […]

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John Tizard: Public procurement professionals must step up and speak up in 2018

John Tizard

2018 will be another challenging year for the public sector. Austerity, cuts to funding, staffing and services will continue unless there is either a change of government in Westminster or the current government very surprisingly undergoes a Damascene conversion. Demand for services, especially social care, will continue to grow.  There will be ridiculous calls for […]

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Jon Fielding: GDPR: It’s time to find the chinks in your armour

Jon Fielding

The path to compliance with GDPR looks different for every organisation; it’s a tweak to an existing security policy for some, and a vast project for others. For many UK organisations, the journey is far from over: research from Apricorn has found a significant gap in understanding of what is required to comply. While 24% […]

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John Tizard: Don’t avoid social outcomes in public procurement; these can be EU-compliant

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Last week when attending the European Public Service Awards (EPSA) Final Event and Awards Ceremony in Maastricht, in addition to meeting, talking with and learning from the many award winners from across Europe it was very encouraging to hear a senior EU Commission official speak about the need to address social outcomes through public procurement. […]

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John Tizard: UK public procurement should learn from India and put ‘place’ first

John Tizard

Many local authorities are rightly keen to use their local procurement spending to boost their local economies and communities. While some are making good progress, it is perplexing to find others being hesitant, not least because (incorrectly) they are worried that such action may not be compliant with UK and EU regulations. I have often […]

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John Tizard: Public service outsourcing must promote whistleblowing

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Last week the Bath Chronicle reported that Virgin Care asked staff not to report their safety concerns to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or other regulators. If this is the case, it is wrong and unacceptable. Registered managers in health and social care have a legal obligation to report issues to the CQC if they […]

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