Councils have a ‘declining appetite’ with outsourcing and the private sector

New research has revealed that councils have a “declining appetite” for outsourcing in light of calls for a rethink on the relationship between the public and private sector, epitomised by the collapse of Carillion.  

The survey, carried out by the New Local Government Network (NLGN), found that only 15% of council leaders say they plan on outsourcing more over the next two years, whereas 39% said they plan on outsourcing less over the next two years.

However, 49% indicated they would not change from their current levels.

The NLGN’s report, ‘From Transactions to Changemaking: Rethinking partnerships between the public and private sectors,’ said that because of recent high-profile failures, such as Carillion, the public sector’s confidence in outsourcing is dwindling and is increasingly seeking more influence over partnerships.

The NLGN argues that the issue is more complex than the simplistic picture of ‘outsourcing vs. in-house’ emerging between the Tory and Labour parties.

The report concluded with a set of recommendations. This included calling for a new accountability code of conduct to increase public oversight of the private sector, as well as a ‘social responsibility accreditation system’ for contracts worth £200,000 or more and, for those worth over £1m open book accounting.

It also called for the public sector to be given the ability to drive long-term value through partnerships by replacing social value with a stronger method of measuring social impact, as well as a government-backed review into better transparency over outsourcing contracts.


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