Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The boom in outsourcing

£88 billion has been spent on outsourcing in the UK since 2010.  That's nearly double what was spent in the last four years of the previous government, and the public sector is outsourcing at twice the rate of the private sector.  The big winners have been Capita and the usual suspects, but little of this boom seems to have touched A4e.
The project has enable the government to claim spurious private-sector job creation, as workers are switched from one to the other, with fewer jobs remaining at the end of it.  It also enables Cameron to claim that he is fulfilling his pledge to "release the grip of state control", though this begs the question of exactly who is in control.  Time and again we see how poor the procurement process is; how promises made on tender documents are pure fiction, but there is no come-back for the taxpayer.  There's an excellent analysis of the Work Programme figures in the New Statesman.  The providers are spending nothing like the amount per client that they promised, yet still they get their incentive bonus.
There is evidence that some services outsourced by local authorities are being brought back in house, and we've seen that happen in the past.  But there comes a point where there's no "in house" left; no council or government structure to administer the service.  It was a creeping privatisation under Labour.  It's galloping under this government, with little notice being taken by commentators of where we're going.
For a little light relief, we're told that a cabinet reshuffle is on the cards for next Monday.  It's suggested in the Telegraph that there are rumours of a straight job swap between Iain Duncan Smith and the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.  The mind boggles.


  1. I have read this blog for a long time and this was predicted a long time ago,frustrated,annoyed? Validated!

    1. Can't see IDS moving jobs - if he does I will buy you all a drink in my local Public House!

  2. I used to do door-to-door sales and telesales years back. Double glazed windows, doors and conservatories, subscriptions to the local newspaper and more. If I and the team I worked with did not hit our target, we did not get our bonuses.

    If this is expected of a salesman / salesteam, then Cameron, Osborn and Smith need to explain just why it is acceptable for the W2W sector to miss key targets and STILL receive bonuses.

    Could it be the fact that Smith is loathed to see a major W2W provider pull out as this would effectively leave his much vaunted WP in serious trouble? Hence the throwing ever more monies at an unworkable system to satisfy a naked and bankrupt ideology.

  3. It appears that IDS is in yet more trouble over his Universal Cock-up scheme:


    Seemingly, the gist of the latest row is that Sir Bob Kerslake said that the Treasury has not agreed to provide yet more money for Universal Cock-up but IDS insists that it has.

  4. On topic (for once!).
    It would. seem someone at The Grauniad has been reading this blog.
    Here is an article about the evils of privatisation and how the tide is turning against it:


  5. Might I suggest one looks at Connaught and the fallout from going bust whilst running contracts for public services. You'd have thought that Norwich City Council would have learnt a lesson from that, but they got caught again when Fountains went under a couple of years later.

    Maybe, one day, local and national government will see private contracts for public services for what they really are. A means to siphon off public money without any accountability.


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".