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Outsourcing Playbook aimed at private sector updated by central Government

11 June 2020

THE PROJECT that was designed to make sure the Government and the private sector work well together has been updated to help guarantee good services for the public. Launched in February last year, the Outsourcing Playbook was put forward to improve the way in which Government works with private companies following the high profile collapse of Carillion in 2018.

After being strongly supported by the private sector and charities alike, the Government has announced that the Outsourcing Playbook is now updated to highlight the importance of continuing to drive forward innovation in public sector projects.

This includes the creation of Delivery Model Assessments, which help determine whether the public or private sector is best placed to deliver a public service, an improved focus on delivering social value in contracts and guidance on building and maintaining successful relationships with companies delivering services.

Cabinet Office Minister Lord Agnew said: “The Outsourcing Playbook is a vital tool for ensuring that we can work effectively with the private sector to deliver the best possible public services and value for money for the taxpayer. This update builds on the improvements we’ve seen in the past year. I’m pleased it has been well received by the private sector as we continue to develop collaboration and drive innovation.”

The Outsourcing Playbook contains rules, principles and guidance on how Government departments should make decisions about outsourcing projects, making sure the focus is always on delivering the best possible outcome at the best possible value.

Detailed consultations

The updated version makes it clear that companies should also comply with the prompt payment code and sets out how Government officials should look at all possibilities for how services should be delivered before contracts are awarded as well as giving extra advice on in-sourcing.

The update follows on from detailed consultations with industry and builds on the highly successful implementation of the initial programme, which has seen attendance rates at training sessions for Playbook policies hit more than 9,000.

Mark Fox, chairman of the Business Services Association, commented: “The updated Outsourcing Playbook represents a huge step forward in the Government’s ability to procure goods, services and projects both consistently and efficiently. All those who work with the Government to deliver projects and services across the voluntary and private sectors recognise the enormous amount of work the Cabinet Office has put into this document.”

The Outsourcing Playbook has also helped to guide vital work between Government and the private sector during the coronavirus crisis. Matthew Fell, the CBI’s chief UK policy director, observed: “During these testing times, partnership working between the public and private sectors to tackle shared challenges has become ever-more important. This latest guidance builds on the Cabinet Office’s commitment to improve upon how local and central Government work together with enterprise and charities to deliver high quality public services. New provisions supporting better contract management, an increased focus on value rather than cost and encouraging a more collaborative approach towards managing risk are all aspects that will be welcomed by public sector suppliers.”

*View the latest version of the Outsourcing Playbook here