Coalition to focus on mutualisation instead of outsourcing for public services delivery

By David Bicknell

A recent article on the BBC website has suggested that the government is scaling back plans to use the private sector to deliver public services and placed a greater focus on mutualisation.

According to James Landale, the BBC’s deputy political editor, documents suggest ministers have decided that the “wholesale outsourcing” of public services to the private sector would be politically “unpalatable”.

Instead, ministers are planning to increase the role of charities, social enterprises and employee-owned “mutual” organisations.

Outsourcing was believed to have been a key element of the Coalition Government’s drive to cut costs and reduce the UK’s budget deficit. But the article says, the shift in policy will raise questions about whether the government can make the savings it has promised – or deliver the services it is committed to – just by using charities and mutuals.

More will become clear when the Open Public Services White Paper is due to be published later this month.

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