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BSA to be a ‘coherent and articulate voice’

15 December 2007

Mark Fox, chief executive, BSA

Speaking to PFM on the firstday in his new job as chief executive of the Business Services Association, Mark Fox said, “The need to get a coherent and articulate voice to politicians and journalists here
and in Brussels is acute. This is what the BSA is in the business of providing.”

Fox takes over at the BSA at a time when both the Labour and Conservative parties have outsourcing at the “front and centre” of their public policy. He continued: “In the early months I will be doing a lot of listening and learning but I am clear that the key issues include promoting the benefits of outsourcing and business
services provision in principle. In the current debate on services in the public arena we need to be championing the benefits. This is crucial because the heart of this industry is outsourcing.”

Fox knows his way around the corridors of power. He was an assistant to Virginia Bottomley when she was Secretary of State for Health, and National Heritage Secretary, and then for five years a political correspondent he was for the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Express working in the lobby of the House of Commons. More recently he has spent six years at the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, first as its Director of Communications and then as its Chief Executive.

In the weeks before taking up his new job, Fox opened doors at the TUC, talked with policy makers at Number 10 and withthe Opposition teams. He said: “It is very important for the BSA to be strongly championing the principles and merits of outsourcing. We live in an environment where the merits and importance of this industry needs to be clearly articulated.”

Commenting on the Queen's Speech last month, Fox said: “The Government needs to maintain its commitment to the principle of outsourcing and continue to recognize the vital role the industry plays in delivering services across the private and public sectors. We need to continue working to ensure that
levels of taxation and regulation do not damage this successful and vibrant industry. The industry is a major driver of the economy - improving productivity, increasing standards and driving innovation - and we
welcome the Government’s initiatives in the areas of skills and training.”

His strategy is to create a strong research stream at the BSA to provide the evidence ofthe industry’s performance, productivity and economic and social impact. He plans to introduce polling – YouGov is an
associate member of the BSA. Armed with these key facts, and the priorities of BSA members, he aims to build contacts and develop productive relationships with the national and industry press, government and policy makers to champion the important contribution made by the industry to the provision of services in the public and private sectors. In a statement sent to BSA members, Fox declared that "Business and outsourcing services are major drivers of the UK and wider European economy. The dynamism and
innovation of the industry plays an important part in driving the UK’s economy, helping to keep it competitive and flexible. The industry is also a major employer – with BSA members alone accounting for over 600,000 employees."

His first priorities for BSA members will include: Championing the important contribution made by the industry to the provision of services in the public and private sectors; Promoting and explaining the innovative role the industry plays in driving the UK economy forward through the publication of authoritative
research, case studies, polling and other data; Listening to the membership and the industry to ensure the work of the BSA reflects the priorities of the businesses it serves.

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