Reflections on go ahead of Barnet outsourcing scheme via Guardian

English: An Indian call center

English: An Indian call center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This is an interesting article from the Guardian. It’s RECOMMENDED READING, in my view.

via Barnet outsourcing scheme to go ahead – local government news round-up | Local Leaders Network | Guardian Professional.

As a former expert in business transformation management and outsourcing, let me share my views.

Firstly, I endorse greater outsourcing of front and back office services in local authorities. By and large, local authorities are run by ineffective managers who are always looking over their shoulder for political approval. Over the last twenty years, local authorities have spent fortunes with consultants to help them run their businesses, so it should come as no surprise that many believe that the alternative model of outsourcing is preferable.

Strategy consultants will tell you that it is best to go through a transformation program before outsourcing, otherwise you are outsourcing the cost of inefficiency.

However, the biggest problem with outsourcing is downstream change which can be prohibitively expensive.

Given that politicians will continue to meddle, outsourcing firms are likely to be the winner of local authority piecemeal outsourcing; I suspect that the Barnet outsourcing scheme will eventually prove to be an example of ineffective piecemeal outsourcing.

Sadly, David Cameron’s Government, this time under leadership of Local Authority Minister, Erik Pickles and Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, have missed an opportunity to take a strategic look at local authority outsourcing and negotiate a series of national contracts.

Let me turn this point around to two open questions:

  1. How should the UK Central Government intervene to ensure the most cost effective outsourcing of both front and back-office local authority services?

  2. How should the UK Central Government intervene to encourage greater off-shoring of local authority services to ensure greater value for money?

Vector of thumb|100px|left

Vector of thumb|100px|left (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: Warning to councils: the biggest cuts are yet to come | Local Leaders Network | Guardian Professional « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. Pingback: How to Outsource UK State Schools effectively « Dr Alf's Blog

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