Interesting NAO report on commercial relationships across Government, accounting for a third of all public spending (1). If you read that the big spenders are MoD (Type 45s), Transport (Network rail and franchises), MoJ (probation, tagging) , DBEIS (nuclear energy), you will be unsurprised at the conclusion that there are profound long standing weaknesses in Government procurement, but - and this has been said ever since I were a lad - 'government is now starting to address the issues'. 'Addressing' the easy part, 'delivery' another.
But it isn't as simple as just bringing work back in house. All those Departments have serious problems with direct management as well. 'Management' indeed is just the problem. Plus bringing work back will carry huge bills, eg for migrating all staff onto public sector pensions.
The conclusion I come to: Government should stop trying anything clever or innovative in contracting , because it'll almost certainly cock it up. Make sure you can walk before you try running - never mind hop, skip and jump.
I was formerly Finance Director of the Prison Service and then Director of the National Offender Management Service responsible for competition. I also worked in the NHS and an IT company. I later worked for two outsourcing companies.
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