After G4S, who still thinks that outsourcing works? | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian

This is an excellent article by Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee. Check it out!

After G4S, who still thinks that outsourcing works? | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian.

I very much agree with the article. For me, it again comes back to ineffective Public Sector procurement which is costing the UK billions. Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office are publicizing what a great job they are doing!

3 responses

  1. Pingback: It was Ed Balls’ best shot, but will Tory scare tactics win the day? | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. What Polly Toynbee says is fair enough but the inability of the Government, Civil Servants who should know better and local authorities, stuffed with people whop could not negotiate their way out of a paper bag to procure anything at a reasonable price is not a reason not to outsource.

    Similarly, when I tell people to go to an expert outsourcing lawyer and they elect to use a county council solicitor who knows nothing about it it is hardly surprising that we get the situation that exists.

    Currently, the UK gets just one third of the value per taxpayer pound that Singapore does and we are 17th in the world in this area.

    With regard to the Olympics, the original estimate was £2.9 billion gbp yet the cost is tracking £20 billion gbp and no-one outside of the Government and LOCOG has seen the accounts.

    Prince 2 is the standard used by all Government projects and this allows for 6% to 8% project tolerances.
    Despite this, overruns at the MOD and on practically all Government projects run up to 12 times the original estimate(eg the Bowman Radio for the Army).

    One might expect costs to double on some projects due to unforseen circumstances and mistakes.
    Quadrupling might happen because of changing specifications demanded by politicians but anything beyond that can only be put down to one thing,out and out malfeasance and criminality.

    The fact that nothing is done about it and no-one goes to prison means that the UK, far from being a country free of corruption, is in fact riddled with it from top to bottom whilst pretending that this only goes on in corrupt African dictatorships, Southern Italy or with foreign arms deals.

    The G4S debacle highlights the need for the use of proper outsourcing lawyers, the sacking of a grossly incompetent Home Secretary, the complacent Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt who is neither use nor ornament, an investigation of all the Olympic finances by the police and independently appointed forensic accountants and the trial, conviction and imprisonment of anyone and everyone involved who is found to be guilty of embezzlement, theft of public money, skimming on contracts.

    If everyone involved gets a clean bill of health then so be it, but investigation of the most searching and relentless kind is what’s needed because without it these debacles will continue.

    G4S should be banned from future outsourcing contracts with the Government and the question to be asked is why the entire contract was given to them and not split between multiple providers.

    Similarly, the Border Agency needs root and branch reform and bringing up to strength because airport delays at immigration are reducing the country to a laughing stock which costs us exports and jobs.

    • John, many thanks for your detailed response here. I tend to agree with most of your argument.

      However, there is another point.

      The present situation in the Public Sector results from policy choices of both the current and the previous Government.

      For me, the whole policy of austerity was not carefully thought through, it was largely top-slicing without careful strategic planning, with vision, strategy and delivery completely out of line.

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