William Eichler 16 September 2019

Think tank reveals outsourcing’s ‘mixed’ record

Outsourcing services has delivered savings to citizens, although politicians have ‘consistently overstated’ the extent of these savings, think tank says.

A new report from the Institute for Government argues that outsourcing waste collection, cleaning, catering and maintenance services has delivered ‘significant savings and benefits to citizens’.

However, it found a more mixed picture when it came to outsourcing HR, IT, prison and employment services, health and adult social care.

On the whole, the private financing of construction and outsourcing of probation had not delivered many benefits.

The study, which was based on more than 50 interviews with current and former Government officials, suppliers, academics and industry experts, also concluded that consecutive Governments have overstated the benefits of outsourcing.

Senior politicians regularly claim outsourcing can still deliver 20–30% savings but there is no evidence to support this, the think tank concluded.

Selling the family silver image

Selling the family silver

Ryan Swift, research fellow at IPPR North, urges the next Government to stop the mass sell off of council assets.
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