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BSA backs outsourced services

05 October 2011

The BSA has submitted its 14-page response to the consultation on the Open Public Services White Paper.


BSA Chief Executive Mark Fox summarised: “We welcome the publication of the White Paper and the consultations that have accompanied it. The Government’s determination to see public services delivered in an increasingly effective and efficient way is something we support. This area of reform requires consistent and determined political will if real and lasting change is to be effected.”

He continued: “Increasing the range of providers in public services is key to increasing choice, standards and value for money. For example, in central government, only 5.3% of the 492,000 UK civil servants are involved in policy development (something the BSA believes is a core function of the state). More than two thirds (71.3%) work in an ‘operational delivery’ role – which includes call centre staff and personal advisors. We refer to this as ‘middle-office’ (as opposed to front or back-office). Middle-office can mean providing services direct to the public, but it can also involve making other front-line provision, such as clinical services, more effective, for example, improving the speed at which a patient receives different stages of care. We believe there is a huge opportunity here to re-evaluate the core role of the state and to refocus on that role while making the support functions as effective as possible. Our members estimate that typical savings when these services are outsourced are in the region of 30–40%, with exceptional contracts saving 50%. We calculate that a third of those 492,000 roles can be effectively outsourced using current policy and contractual mechanisms. This therefore represents significant opportunity to make savings.”


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