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Study launched into 'public service industry' sector supporting NHS

05 December 2007

John Hutton, Business Secretary, BERR

A review of the emerging 'public service industry' has been commissioned by Business Secretary, John Hutton, to examine the increasing contribution being made to the UK's economy by firms and other organisations contracted to deliver services in the NHS, prison service and right across the public sector.

Addressing the CBI's Public Services Forum at Sadler's Wells in London, Mr Hutton said: "The last decade has seen our longest and most stable period of economic growth. And it has also seen the largest and most sustained investment in our public services. Out of this has emerged the 'public service industry.
Thousands of organisations have prospered in this new industry, employing tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of people and making a real difference to people's lives. It has helped us to meet the challenge of renewing our public services, through efficiency, innovation and effectiveness. And just as importantly, it has made a tremendous contribution to UK plc.

"It is a sector with huge potential. But to achieve it - at home and abroad - we need a greater understanding of its existing contribution and what more Government can do, as policy maker, regulator and procurer to get the best results for consumers and taxpayers."

In 2005/06 the Government directly procured £115bn of goods and services. However, the total value of this industry (including supply chains), key trends within it, contribution to UK economy (including innovation and productivity) has not, to date, been comprehensively analysed.

The aim of the review, headed by DeAnne Julius, is to build a clearer, fuller understanding of the emerging sector. It will seek to identify the facts and factors that could support its growth - including the market's scale, employment base and characteristics of its leading players - and define the value of its contribution to our economy, productivity and international competitiveness.

The review will be headed by DeAnne Julius and aims to report in summer 2008.


1. This study will examine:
* the development of the 'public service industry' to date, including significant recent trends (in terms of value, innovation, productivity, capability, capacity);
* the value and competitiveness of the 'public service industry' by sector (e.g. health, education, welfare, defence, transport, home affairs), and capability (e.g. IT, consultancy, legal, scientific, accountancy, construction), including indirect supply chains. (This work will need to recognise, disaggregate and re-aggregate existing ONS and BERR data on the contribution of some of these sectors more generally to the UK economy);
* the number of people directly and indirectly employed in the 'public service industry'; its contribution to public service innovation and productivity in the UK economy;
* analysis of key factors and trends that drive performance across the sector including market management (policy and regulation) and commercial management (commissioning capability, contract management
including scale, length, complexity, risk, incentives);
* the barriers to entry and exit across firm types in key public service markets and the characteristics of companies that operate across the sector;
* the comparative advantage of UK public service market in attracting overseas investment, compared to existing and emerging comparator markets overseas;
* the potential global market for goods and services in this market and the competitive advantage of UK businesses in overseas market (with a focus on emerging growth markets where UK has comparative

The study will engage with existing work across Whitehall departments and agencies relevant to the questions set out above (e.g. DUIS on innovation in the public sector, ONS on public sector productivity,
OGC on commissioning and procurement.). It will be primarily concerned with providing a factual analysis of the issues discussed in relation to the above questions in order to inform further work in this area. To that extent, recommendations flowing from this analysis will be welcome as and where necessary.
The study will be led by DeAnne Julius and supported by a senior internal and external Advisory Panel and a secretariat from BERR. It is expected that the study will be published during summer 2008.

2. DeAnne Julius is Chairman of Chatham House and a non-executive director of BP and Roche. She also serves on the advisory boards of UK and US hedge funds and is Vice President of the Society of Business Economists.

From 1997-2001 Dr Julius was a founder member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. From 2001-2004 she served on the Court of the Bank. Prior to joining the MPC, she held a number of positions in the private sector including Chief Economist at British Airways and Shell. She has been senior economic advisor at the World Bank and a consultant to the IMF and UNCTAD. For the British
government she chaired the Banking Services Consumer Codes Review Group and served on the Policy Commission for the Future of Farming and Food and the National Learning & Skills Council.

Dr Julius is a dual US/UK citizen. She holds a BSc from Iowa State University and a Ph.D in economics from the University of California.

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