Articles tagged with open public services
Competition killed the cat
“Serco is certainly guilty of a lack of imagination. It has grown to where it is on the back of years of outsourcing, with successive governments of every colour looking to use contracting in order to cut the perceived waste in public sector delivery.” Richard Johnson looks at the experience of Serco in the outsourcing of public services.
Doing the Ministry’s bidding
“The Ministry of Justice is absolutely desperate to give its TR omnishambles planned for probation some semblance of credibility by making sure that not all the ‘prime’ contracts are awarded to the questionable big boys…” Jim Brown looks at how charities and mutuals are trying to pick up probation contracts.
Privatised prisons: it’s ‘easier to get drugs than soap’
“An unannounced inspection of HMP Oakwood has revealed grave concerns about the ability of private provider G4S’s ability to run a prison.” Scriptonite looks at the record of G4S in delivering public services.
Capita, Serco, G4S, government and the rise and rise of electronic tagging
“It seems that Capita has positioned itself (with three other companies) to take over the dire electronic tagging system run by Serco and G4S for the Ministry of Justice. By “dire,” I mean “very likely fraudulent”…” Kate Belgrave is concerned about Capita’s expansion into the electronic tagging market.
Got to be another way
“If the present political structure is simply not able, or unwilling, to adequately reflect the views of the electorate, then surely there’s got to be another way.” Jim Brown braces himself for 18 months of pre-election shenanigans from the main political parties and wonders whether we can’t do better than this - with a little help from an 80s sci-fi cult classic.
Building up to a rant
“How can all this be happening, I naively ask myself, when we know the public hates the idea of privatising public services, and especially so if it results in shit companies running them?” Jim Brown finds himself embroiled in a battle to save the job he loves.
The march of outsourcing or privatisation of public services appears to have few boundaries, with whole new sectors being announced at regular intervals. Many felt that the announcement by Michael Gove that Doncaster Borough Council was to be stripped of its children’s services for at least five years was in effect a trial run for the whole […]
The funding, running and maintaining of our essential services has become such a complete and utter farce that, like a growing number of people, I despair at and hold in contempt, those private companies and successive governments who are responsible. Energy, the Emergency Services, Health and Social Care, Education, Water, Transport, Law, Order and Justice […]
Summary Should all public services and state functions be open for outsourcing or are there some lines that should not be crossed? The difference with this blogpost compared to others I’ve covered in public policy is that it looks at an issue through the prism of principle and disposition, rather than through a pure technocratic […]
So-called ‘John Lewis-style mutuals’ are (depending on your point of view) the future of the public sector or a euphemism for privatisation. However, the expression may have some unexpected implications for the government. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude launched a competition today to find a commercial partner for the government’s Behavioural Insights Team – or Nudge Unit. […]
I have written about this matter before but after a couple of blocked FoI requests recently, I thought I would raise the subject again. I think the Freedom of Information Act should be made to apply to all organisations / alliances / partnerships that spend the Queen’s shilling (our money in other words). Increasingly, I suspect, more and more […]
The Government’s ‘evidence agenda’ appears beguilingly apolitical, with its implicit promise to take the politics out of policymaking. In fact, it’s highly political – not in what it focuses on, but in what it chooses to ignore.
In his letter to NHS trusts warning them against gagging orders, Jeremy Hunt said it was vital to “recognise and celebrate staff” who speak out about patient safety. The same goes for staff who stand up against ‘reforms’ which threaten the care of anyone using public services.
“Imagine the wealth of information these online conversations would give to policymakers otherwise locked in their ivory towers and desperate to get the input of workers who might make their policies actually work.” Laura McInerney reflects on the possibility of professionals helping to inform better policy and where this is already starting to happen.
The jury is still out whether the Work Programme is actually working and the Department for Work and Pensions is pushing the sector to deliver a step change in performance so that the policy is proven to be successful. Taking into account the wider economic context, innovation is central to improving performance, yet the current […]
The NHS is facing significant financial pressure as a result of austerity with smaller increases in spending, which are not keeping pace with demand. This has meant that the NHS has to find £20 billion in efficiency savings by 2015. At the same time the health service is facing one of its biggest upheavals ever, […]
The West Coast mainline franchising fiasco shows that the current approach to outsourcing public services has serious flaws that need to be addressed - the much too complicated and secretive nature of outsourcing is the problem, rather than the people handling the process. Last week Patrick McLoughlin, the new Transport Secretary, cancelled the West Coast […]
Open policy requires open research - the CBI’s report on outsourcing public services doesn’t meet this standard
Last week the CBI published research that claimed that government could save billions by outsourcing more public services to private business. Ironically for a report titled ‘Open Access’, the main problem with the report is not its argument but its lack of transparency. For such an important issue as the future of public services and […]
In posts over the past few weeks we’ve looked at the Government’s ‘open public services’ agenda, in particular the outsourcing of public services, and how this threatens to undermine another Government initiative, for ‘open policy making.’ The Prime Minister has reshuffled his Government so that it is focused more on “delivery” for the rest of this parliament – […]
In posts over the past few weeks we’ve looked at the Government’s ‘open public services’ agenda, in particular the outsourcing of public services, and how this threatens to undermine another Government initiative, for ‘open policy making.’ Open policy also involves outsourcing policy - but this risks repeating some of the problems with outsourcing public services, especially reducing accountability. We like open […]