Joint-venture mutuals again mooted as solution to local authority procurement hurdle

By David Bicknell

Stepping Out  managing director Craig Dearden-Philips has again  mooted the possibility of joint-venture mutuals i.e. new ventures which bring together public sector staff with an external partner to set up a new company on a 50/50 basis.

This, he suggests, can run a procurement – though not the contract to provide – as an external partner for the staff-led mutual, which will itself become the provider.

In an article for the Guardian Policy Hub, he suggests this gets round the procurement problem where in public services a tender process is run for virtually any service. For the nascent mutual, he argues, ‘this can feel like climbing Everest. With no trading history or commercial skills, being pitted against experienced competition is a deterrent. Why go to all the trouble of forming a mutual only to get knocked out in round one?’

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