William Eichler 31 May 2019

Three-quarters of councils move to insource services

Three-quarters of councils move to insource services image

Local authorities are rejecting the outsourcing of services in favour of delivering services in-house, a not-for-profit local government body has found.

A new study from the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) has revealed an increase in popularity for bringing services in-house.

Based on a 2017 survey which attracted 208 respondents, the report shows that 73% of councils indicated that they had started – or were in the process of starting – insourcing a service.

Around 45% reported having already completed the process.

Rebuilding Capacity: the case for insourcing services argues that insourcing has become a popular response to austerity because it gives councillors and service users more democratic control of service provision.

The report also says that the ‘promised efficiencies’ of outsourcing have failed to deliver, with contract management fees, variation fees on work and difficulties in specifying complex services leading to cost increases.

Around 64% of local authorities cited greater efficiency as their reason for turning to insourcing and near to 60% said they were doing so to improve quality.

The APSE report also argues that long-term contracts are ‘inflexible’ and that the idea of transferring risk to private providers is an illusion because councils are forced to intervene when contracts fail.

‘Outsourced contracts can often be inflexible; limiting innovation and ultimately costing more to deliver and manage; adding costs that the public purse can ill-afford,’ said the report author Mo Baines.

‘Insourcing is not a passive reaction to contract failure but is increasingly a pragmatic and proactive response by councils to deliver better quality services that add rather than extract value.’

APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien commented: ‘By taking back control of local services, insourcing can make it much easier for councils to adopt a community wealth building approach to service delivery; allowing for supply change management, jobs and skills and environmental endeavours.

‘As austerity continues to bite, this report has found that insourcing has helped many councils across the UK lock wealth into their local communities and drive prosperity.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Building Services Engineer

Redbridge London Borough Council
£42,684.00 £45,585.00
An exciting opportunity has arisen for 2 Building Services Engineers to assist in maintaining the Council's Property Portfolio. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Statutory Compliance Officer

Redbridge London Borough Council
£31,548.00 - £33,291.00
This is an exciting time for the London Borough of Redbridge; we are at the heart of regeneration and change in East London, with... Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Planning Officer

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band E, £25,295 - £28,785
Are you an enthusiastic and self-motivated team player who wants to make a major contribution to the work of our Planning and Development Team? Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Brokerage Officer x2

Redbridge London Borough Council
£33,291.00 - £34,794.00
We are looking for someone whois highly numerate, and able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Education Support Officer - Sandwell Young Carers

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£17,802 per annum
If you would like to make a real difference to the lives of the young carers of... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue