IfG response to PAC report on private contractors

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The Public Accounts Committee has today published a report into government outsourcing: “Contracting out public services to the private sector”. The report makes a number of recommendations that echo previous research by the Institute for Government in our landmark publication - ‘Making Public Service Markets Work’.

Responding to the latest Public Accounts Committee report, Director of Research at the Institute for Government, Tom Gash, said:

“The PAC report is right to call for greater transparency in government contracts, more competition, and improved Whitehall skills – all of which we have called for in previous research. Without more transparency the public cannot tell who is providing what services where, how well they are doing and at what cost. Without competition, government can find itself with no choice, unable to get a good deal for the taxpayer. Without improved skills, Whitehall will continue to fail to spot under-performance or even fraud.

“Real efforts are now required to help rebuild public trust in the government’s ability to manage contracted services. A good first step would be to introduce standardised transparency clauses in all government contracts, ensuring providers publish details of cost, services, performance and details of any work they sub-contract to others.”

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