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EXCLUSIVE Interview with Mark Fox, CEO of the Business Services Association

17 February 2014

The February print edition of PFM will contain an extensive interview with Mark Fox, the CEO of the Business Services Association (BSA), who talks about everything from the state of outsourcing in the UK to how his association plans to move the industry forward. Here are some excerpts: 

During the wide-ranging interview, Mark Fox addresses several issues pertinent to the industry. Excerpts:

"What is clear is we have - as you will see in our regularly published Oxford Economics piece of work - a sector that includes FM, business processing and IT, and because the market is evolving an integrated range of service provision it is increasingly difficult to draw meaningful distinction between expressions of what we call outsourcing."

"The BSA is like the UK outsourcing, business service and FM service provision sector as a whole – it is in a process of evolution. When we started this process five years ago, the industry had fragmented representation but what was clear was the sector was going to be used increasingly across the public and private sectors to deliver an increasingly sophisticated range of services."

"We have a very good relationship with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and we’re evolving a partnership around the FM space. This is particularly important. Our partnership with RICS is entirely complementary and not competitive; their individual membership revolves around delivering training and skills whereas we don’t have individual membership and don’t run any training or skills programmes so it’s entirely mutually supportive and where we have a common interest we happily do joint events."

"The information around this sector isn’t good – it never has been. There are too many people bobbing about saying slightly different things. So we have been driving through – with great clarity – a series of policy documents that aim to bring greater clarity to what we’re all doing."

"What the BSA would like to continue to do is explain – and evidence – the opportunities for the use of the private sector to deliver services in a professional, innovative way. And that’s an ongoing task because more opportunities across the private and public sectors are opening up."

"We maintain an equal and balanced relationship with all the major political parties across the UK and so we would be surprised if there were any surprises. It’s a very open dialogue because you don’t want policy lurching from one side to the other – we’re all agreed there’s a greater use for alternative providers in whatever forms that will take."

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