Competition killed the cat

Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic On Friday 25th October, Serco announced that its Chief Executive, Chris Hyman, had fallen on his sword. Earlier that week, the CEO of G4S in the UK departed. A few weeks earlier, the CEO of Serco UK mysteriously disappeared. This is in order to provide the government (and particularly … Continue reading

The path to the precipice

We are blithely rushing along a path towards a fundamental change in our welfare system that will have far-reaching social and fiscal consequences. There is a perfect storm of a poorly contracted Work Programme, political rhetoric, and short-term accounting practice. It is propelling us towards the edge and the introduction of a precipice system for … Continue reading

Stewards’ enquiry

We are delighted to present a guest blog from Sam Sims of the Institute for Government, co-author of their latest report on public service markets and commissioning. The report cites a number of apparent market failures and makes urgent recommendations for if, when and how public services should be taken to market and managed once … Continue reading

The value of nothing

Chris Grayling has described many of his reforms in both employment and justice as “delivering value for money for the taxpayer”. It is difficult, however, to find evidence of the consideration of ‘value’ in recent and planned changes. Instead, as discussions about public services become increasingly polarised, cost and value are conflated. The nuance of … Continue reading

The Council Catch 22

As the rioters circle parliament in Athens and national strikes bring Italy, Spain and Portugal to a standstill, the same glaring gap exists in Europe as Jane identified in her blog’s recent challenge to the US presidential candidates.  Belt-tightening may well be necessary, but where is the plan for jobs? Commissioning may hold the key. … Continue reading

Built to Scale

This article first appeared on http://www.guerillapolicy.org Guerilla Policy is an independent social policy think tank that seeks to develop ways for public service practitioners and service users to conduct research and policy analysis. The argument for the benefits of user and staff involvement in policy making is considerably strengthened by numerous example of projects that … Continue reading

Transcending service silos to head off mass homelessness

The commissioning of public services reinforces their separation and siloisation.  At the front end, this can mitigate against meeting service user needs. There have been various attempts to address this, but few examples of success – possibly because the structures, from central government out, require and reinforce the disconnection. I am currently advising Brent Council … Continue reading