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Last edited 23 Aug 2021
The government’s Outsourcing Playbook, designed to improve how government works with industry and deliver better public services, was launched on February 20, 2019 by Cabinet Office Minister, Oliver Dowden.
The Playbook is intended to ensure the government gets more projects right from the start, engages with a diverse and healthy marketplace of companies, including small businesses and charities, and is ready when things go wrong.
This follows reforms announced by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, to ensure that government procurement is fit for the future, including putting social values at the heart of public service delivery.
New measures announced at the launch include changes to how government allocates risk between itself and its suppliers, ensuring contracts are set-up for success, and for the public to be provided with the best possible service.
The government is also taking steps to improve the design of outsourcing projects from their inception. New complex contracts will be piloted with the private sector before rolling out fully, enabling the government to learn from experience and deliver better public services.
Speaking to CBI business leaders at the launch, Oliver Dowden said:
“Outsourcing can deliver significant benefits, including value for money and more innovative public services. Our new measures will improve how the government works with industry and provide better public services for people across the country.
“I can today provide reassurance that the Playbook makes explicit that, when designing contracts, departments must seek to mitigate, reduce and then allocate risks to the party best able to manage it. A more considered approach to risk allocation will make us a smarter, more attractive client to do business with.”
“Capita is working closely with government to develop these reforms. This is a sea-change, both recognising the vital contribution the private sector makes in delivering first-rate public services, and then finding ways to do this even better.
“These new ways of working will place a stronger focus on establishing partnerships based on mutual trust and a joint focus on positive outcomes. This is fundamental to the successful procurement and delivery of public-sector contracts.”
Further measures in the Playbook include:
- Key performance indicators from every new outsourcing contract will be made publicly available.
- Resolution plans (living wills) for the rare event of a supplier’s corporate failure.
- Departments will be required to publish their upcoming requirements, to help suppliers plan ahead.
- Make-versus-buy decisions to identify when it is best to deliver public services in-house or when there is benefit to drawing on the expertise of the private sector.
You can find the Playbook at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-outsourcing-playbook
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