William Eichler 04 May 2016

Councils need to be more transparent when procuring waste services, report urges

Local government needs to be more transparent when it comes to assessing waste service performance, a new report says.

The Environmental Services Association (ESA), representatives for the UK's resource and waste management industry, has published a report designed to help local authorities when they are looking into service provision and procurement.

The ESA says the new study - entitled Public Realm Services: Making the right choice - will ensure councils are able to demonstrate 'best value', whether that be in-house or through a contractor.

The main issue to emerge from the report is the question of transparency. The ESA argues there is a need for greater transparency when councils are assessing services and when they decide their approach to contracting/service delivery.

They also point out that while more councils may choose in-sourcing next year, the evidence collected suggests there is scepticism over the benefits.

ESA's executive director Jacob Hayler said: ‘These are difficult times for local government with severe constraints on funding. It is therefore absolutely crucial that authorities are helped to secure the best possible value for their waste services.

‘It is often too hard for authorities to benchmark accurately their services as costs are allocated to different departments, which makes like-for-like comparisons impossible.

‘We hope this research will help councils to improve their ability to benchmark their services against the market and realise the best possible value for their residents.’

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