May 04, 2011
The BBC News service were very quick to refer to leaked government documents that suggest the Coalition has decided the "wholesale outsourcing" of public services to the private sector would be politically "unpalatable". Clearly, this is not official and current experience of the Coalition suggests that this may change in the future, probably several times over. What is encouraging though is that Ministers (aka Francis Maude) think that charities, social enterprises and employee-owned "mutual" organisations could step in and deliver the desired cost reductions.
All this seems very sensible, but what is scary is that the only reason for not going down this route is the lack of political support Is that it then? What about the lack of a business case on so many occasions? What about market conditioning? What about failure to deliver results – see earlier South West One posting? What about cost to the tax payer and the resultant ROI to us, the British public, rather than overseas shareholders?
I support outsourcing – but only when it is done for the right reasons and not because of ideological dogma. I think employee owned social enterprises and ‘mutuals’ are the way forward. Not only do we get focused businesses but we unleash the spirit of enterprise that the huge outsourcing corporates lost some 30 years ago!