News & Views

We collate and provide links to news and views from around the world to help share ideas and thinking for policy makers, procurers, providers, and any other organisations working in the public sector sphere to deliver better public services.

Policy People: Lord Laming of Tewin
Policy People is the Serco Institute’s series of interviews with key figures from across the international public sector landscape.
16th September 2020
Opinion Feature: Commissioning after coronavirus
Elizabeth Chamberlain, Head of Policy & Public Services at NCVO, asks what the 'new normal' should look like for voluntary sector commissioning.
27th August 2020
Michael Gove gives Ditchley Annual Lecture on 'The privilege of public service'
1st July 2020
Analysis: Michael Gove's lecture on 'The privilege of public service'
The criticality of evidence, inclusion, experimentation and innovation in public services: The Serco Institute analyses Saturday’s speech by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and considers its implications for public and private sector partners.
30th June 2020
UK Government publishes Outsourcing Playbook Version 2.0
UK Government publishes Outsourcing Playbook Version 2.0
10th June 2020
Institute for Government: Carillion - Two Years On
Two years after the collapse of Carillion, and a year after the government published its Outsourcing Playbook, this report provides a stocktake of whether changes have been implemented
5th March 2020
Panel appearance: transparency in outsourcing
On Thursday 27th February, Institute Director Kate Steadman contributed to an important panel on transparency in outsourcing.
28th February 2020
Roundtable: (Out)sourcing Playbook V2.0
The Institute was delighted to co-host a seminar on the (Out)sourcing Playbook, with guest speakers from Government and the private sector.
14th February 2020
Blog: Is this the Public Service Parliament?
Amongst the new MPs’ fascinating backgrounds, there is a strong and consistent theme of service, particularly in the public sector. This bodes positively for a post-Brexit, technology-driven world in which innovative ways of designing and delivering public services will be more important, perhaps, than at any time since the creation of the modern welfare state.
7th January 2020
Institute Event & Article: ‘Social Value – More Questions than Answers?’.
3rd December 2019
View: Social value is the latest frontier for public procurement and value for money
Social value is the value attributed to economic, social and environmental outcomes that tangibly contribute to the well-being, resilience and sustainability of society and the wider environment. Through policy. (Source: paconsutling via
18th November 2019
News: Sector bodies join forces to help smaller charities bid for public services
The NCVO, Acevo and the Lloyds Bank Foundation have established Rebalancing the Relationship to adjust the relationship between large and small charities in bidding for public services contracts. (Source:
18th November 2019
News: Care robots could revolutionise UK care system and provide staff extra support
The UK moves one step closer to developing robots capable of providing support for Britons and making caring responsibilities easier, thanks to £34 million government investment announced today. (source:
18th November 2019
New Thinking: Exploring the link between social policy and public trust
Historically, there has been a strong link between robust social policy and higher levels of public trust. Source:
10th October 2019
NESTA: Radical Views of Future Government
This is written from a British context, but combinations of these issues have a resonance in governments around the world. We wanted a serious rethink about what government is, what it should do, and how it should work. source:
26th September 2019
Institute for Government: Government outsourcing - what has worked and what needs reform?
"Labour’s policy of bringing public services back into government hands by default would be a mistake. But senior politicians have consistently overstated how much money is saved by outsourcing services". (
16th September 2019
View: Forget AI in healthcare, augmented intelligence and distributed ledger technology will transform healthcare
“Healthcare is not like banking,” says Dr. Anushka Patchava, Expert Adviser to the United Nations. “Rather it’s a more emotional business. Artificial intelligence in healthcare implies the use of…non-human systems, like computers, performing tasks such as decision-making, without a human touch".(
13th September 2019
New Thinking: Giving the charitable sector the tools it needs to survive
A new report from Canada recommends a national volunteerism strategy and a regulatory approach that updates the definition of a charity.
6th September 2019
Autonomous passenger ferries: Congestion-buster or hype on the high seas?
The world’s first autonomous passenger ferry demonstration took place off the coast of Finland ealier this year. Are we set to see such services scale up?
6th September 2019
News: UK installs next-generation digital signage on its roads
Construction and engineering technology company, Costain, and traffic technology group, Swarco, have partnered to develop and install the next generation of digital road message signs across England (Source:
23rd August 2019
New thinking: NEWS How can AI-powered cameras measure customers’ happiness?
AI-enabled cameras are helping the RTA to analyse the facial expressions of passengers which then allows decision-makers to take actions to rectify the situation. (Source:
23rd August 2019
Report: Violence cut at seven of 10 'challenging' prisons
Levels of violence and drug taking have fallen since last year at some of England's "most challenging" prisons, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has said. The rate of assaults fell by 16%, while failed drug tests also dropped across the 10 prisons that were given £10m extra security funding in 2018. (Source:
23rd August 2019
New thinking: AI screens populations, subgroups for clinical depression
Machine learning algorithms can comb population-level patient databases to find individuals who might benefit by treatment for depression, a study running in the Journal of Medical Internet Research has shown. (Source:
22nd August 2019
New thinking: In Clink prison restaurants, there is fellowship in food
The Ministry of Justice produced a report last week, showing that the Clink Charity had had a “statistically significant” impact on reoffending rates among prisoners. (Source:
22nd August 2019
Views: Is London Smart City Initiative as smart as it could be?
It’s been a year since the launch of the Mayor of London’s smart city roadmap, designed to transform the capital into the smartest city in the world. But twelve months later, is the city any smarter? (Source:
21st August 2019
News: Inmate Rewards For Respectful Guards Can Help Curb Prison Violence
Prisons can be made safer by granting inmates the opportunity to reward staff for being “respectful, helpful and professional”, according to a new report. (Source:
21st August 2019
News: Ontario prison farms making a comeback
Prison farms in Canada had been operating for more than a century. Over the years, the system shifted from forced labour to a rehabilitation program run by CORCAN, a Correctional Service of Canada program that provides inmates with employment experience and skills. (Source:
20th August 2019
New thinking: Could smart ticketing technology signal the end of station barriers?
The end of ticket barriers could be nigh, with new technology being developed and trialled by Hitachi Rail. The prototype technology would use sensors on trains to detect an app on passengers’ smartphones as they board. (Source:
20th August 2019
News: Smart mobility drives smart cities
Modern urban logistics and transport networks are under pressure from many sources. According to PwC, people will continue to migrate from rural areas to cities and by 2050 the urban population will have increased by 75%. (Source:
19th August 2019
Views: Prison reform group calls for end to ‘long-term’ solitary confinement
Two-dozen prison reform activists recently rallied at Department of Corrections headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, pushing for changes to solitary confinement and calling for an inquiry into alleged “abuses” at one corrections facility. (Source:
19th August 2019
View: What smart cities idea needs to get off ground
Smart cities may be the future trend in the next few years. A smart city is one that takes advantage of technology to collect data and use it to manage resources for public good. (Source:
19th August 2019
Innovation: How Scotland is moving to sustainable public transport
In light of the global climate emergency, it is confirmed that the Scottish Government, including Transport Scotland, would look across a whole range of responsibilities to make sure that we continue with the policies that are underway to reduce emissions and, where necessary, take additional actions. (Source:
16th August 2019
News: Smart Cities Initiatives around the World Are Improving Citizens' Lives
Examples of smart management include monitoring and managing: traffic and transportation systems, power and water supply networks, waste management systems, information systems, schools, libraries, and hospitals. (Source:
16th August 2019
New thinking: Bryden Wood touts ‘prison of the future’ design
It said the design, which removes bars from cell windows by the use of tougher glass and which adopts a Scandinavian approach to rehabilitation and institutionalisation, represented “the biggest redesign of prisons since the Victorian era”. (Source:
16th August 2019
News: Boris Johnson pledges £100m to beef up prison security
The money will go toward airport-style technology, including X-ray scanners and metal detectors, to prevent drugs, weapons and mobile phones getting into jails, and strengthening the Counter Corruption Unit. The spending is in addition to £70m announced last year for the same purpose. (Source:
15th August 2019
News: Scottish government launches new cloud procurement framework
The cloud procurement framework is part of the Scottish government’s efforts to give access to the public sector organisations and charities operating in the region to IT resources that are hosted locally, are sustainable, and offered by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). (Source:
15th August 2019
New thinking: Smart procurement for smart cities
With limited resources and little room for failure, choosing the right procurement strategy has been crucial for U.S. cities to stay ahead of the innovation curve. (Source:
14th August 2019
Views: Former inmate explains how much good would come from removing prison window bars
The psychological imprint of prison bars can have a longer lasting impact than the term served and the image of bars in the free world are synonymous with prison. (Source:
14th August 2019
Views: How AI can transform hospital revenue cycle management
Many hospitals and health systems are already leveraging AI to improve care, support clinical decisions and boost clinician satisfaction. However, the role of AI in healthcare isn't limited to the clinical experience. The same technology can transform nonclinical processes. (Source:
13th August 2019
New thinking: Inmate Rewards For Respectful Guards Can Help Curb Prison Violence
Prisons can be made safer by granting inmates the opportunity to reward staff for being “respectful, helpful and professional”, according to a new report. (Source:
13th August 2019
New thinking: AI emerging as healthcare leaders' top toolset for reducing risk
Healthcare leaders working for provider organisations and medical societies see AI as the best emerging technology for reducing risk. Meanwhile they see online media as the riskiest technology. (Source:
12th August 2019
News: Malaysian Government to improve prison-private sector collaboration to tackle overcrowding
The Malaysian Home Ministry is looking to further enhance the Prison Department's existing Corporate Smart Internship (CSI) programme to better improve parolees' reintegration into society and tackle prison overcrowding, as part of the government's ongoing prison reforms. (Source:
12th August 2019
News: Consortium signs contract for two monorail lines in Egypt
Perfect for congested cities needing a fast and cost-effective mass transit solution, the monorail project in Cario will provide greater mobility for Egyptian citizens. (Source:
12th August 2019
Story: prison choirs are transforming lives
Liberty Choir has inspired hundreds of Wandsworth prisoners through 250 weekly sessions where volunteers and prisoners sing alongside one another. Many of those have since escaped the cycle of crime and punishment. (Source:
12th August 2019
New thinking: California Prisons try Rehab Before Release
California tries new rehabilitation programme before inmates are released. The educational process participants undergo has many parts, with participating inmates acknowledging wrong choices and the value of "self-work." Source:
7th August 2019
Story: Prisoners Unlearn The Toxic Masculinity That Led To Their Incarceration
A former inmate (in North California) is a facilitator of a prison rehabilitation program that teaches men about gender roles and how ingrained ideas of masculinity have contributed to their violent crimes. GRIP, or Guiding Rage into Power, started at San Quentin State Prison in 2013 and has expanded to five state prisons across California. Source:
7th August 2019
News: Group to leverage AI, supercomputers for smart city planning
As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in governments evolves, researchers are looking to supercomputer modeling to assess how the technology can help predict smart city innovations and impact the future. Source:
7th August 2019
Story: Ghanaians asked to embrace local community justice systems
Ghanaians and Africans encouraged to embrace local community justice systems as an alternative in resolving disputes. (Source:
5th August 2019
News: Scottish transport strategy to be a catalyst for change
The Scottish Government has published a new National Transport Strategy for consultation, which it described as a step-change in the country’s approach to transport for the next 20 years. (Source:
5th August 2019
View: Prison reform group calls for end to ‘long-term’ solitary confinement
Two-dozen prison reform activists recently rallied at Department of Corrections headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, pushing for changes to solitary confinement and calling for an inquiry into alleged “abuses” at one corrections facility. (Source:
5th August 2019
View: What Britain’s private prisons can teach public ones
Nearly two-fifths of jails are assessed as “of concern” or “serious concern”, the lowest of four ratings, in the latest figures. None are privately run. (source:
2nd August 2019
New Thinking: 5G - The catalyst connected cities have been waiting for?
Each new evolution in technology inevitably brings about a chicken-and-egg scenario: will the capability spur application development, or will the development drive demand for increased capability? (source:
1st August 2019
News: Dubai introduces VR technology to train drivers
Dubai has become the first government body in the Middle East to use VR technology in driver training and rehabilitation in bid to improve the passenger experience. (source:
1st August 2019
News: UK’s first secure school to be run by academy trust
The UK’s first secure school – an education-focused alternative to youth jails – is to be run by an academy trust that specialises in schools in deprived areas. (source:
25th July 2019
New Thinking: New wave of smart cities has arrived - and they’re nothing like science fiction
An abandoned mine shaft beneath the town of Mansfield, England is an unlikely place to shape the future of cities. But here, researchers from the nearby University of Nottingham are planning to launch a “deep farm” that could produce ten times as much food as farms above ground.(source:
22nd July 2019
View: In a world of autonomous vehicles, this is why we'll need more public transport than ever
The media is fascinated by autonomous vehicles (AVs), in particular their safety and when or if they will arrive en masse. A bigger and more important question is how AVs will work together as fleets and whether they work with public transport to move more people with fewer vehicles to solve our urban congestion and pollution challenges. (source:
22nd July 2019
UK Science Minister Speech: Becoming an Innovation Nation - Driving up private investment into research and development
"It is a great pleasure to be here at this event, to celebrate the successes of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, and to reveal the winners of the latest round of the scheme"
19th July 2019
View: Cutting crime and the skills gap - taking the risks for big rewards in prison education
Earlier this week, I shared a radio studio with a colleague from HMPPS who was explaining the work of the New Futures Network (NFN), a key driver within the Ministry of Justice’s Education and Employment Strategy for adult prisoners, which links employers and prisoners to find staff for one and work for the other. (source:
19th July 2019
News: U.S., U.K. embrace autonomous robot spy subs that can stay at sea for months
Unmanned robot spy submarines that are able to stay at sea for months at a time may be coming to both the United States and its ally across the pond, the U.K. According to a pair of new reports, both nations are hard at work on developing technology for carrying out future underwater data-gathering surveillance missions, without any risk to human personnel.(source:
18th July 2019
View: Global health security requires cooperation between the public and private sectors
Global health security requires cooperation between the public and private sectors in order to properly manage the economic, security, health, and social disruption of epidemics and pandemics, according to World Economic Forum global health security expert Ryan Morhard.(source:
18th July 2019
View: Playing catch-up, how the public sector can embrace digital transformation
In the UK, the public sector is heavily reliant on older IT infrastructure, which can significantly hamper the ability of staff to deliver the high-level of service that we have come to expect thanks to pioneering industries such as retail and logistics.(source:
17th July 2019
News: Trump administration pushes U.S. at-home kidney care, transplant availability
The Trump administration on Wednesday set goals to move more kidney disease treatment into patients’ homes and increase transplants while reducing the U.S. reliance on more costly dialysis clinics. (source:
17th July 2019
Blog: Fighting Pollution with Innovation
91% of the world’s population live in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most polluted places in the world are the major cities, where poor urban planning has led to urban sprawl and over-reliance on private rather than public transport. So where can governments and city-planners turn to solve these problems? All over the world they are already looking to private sector organisations to enhance public services, notably through various smart-city initiatives.
10th July 2019
Story: How Norway Turns Criminals into Good Neighbours
In the early 1990s, the ethos of the Norwegian Correctional Service underwent a rigorous series of reforms to focus less on "revenge" and much more on rehabilitation. (source:
10th July 2019
News: Canada’s first open roads autonomous shuttle begins operations in Montreal
The city and Transdev Canada worked together on several test projects, including one within Montreal’s Olympic Park and Stadium, prior to the start of this service. The current project, which operates using two EasyMile EZ10 autonomous shuttles, will serve for planning purposes and help determine the technology’s potential for sustainable public transit in Montreal. (
3rd July 2019
New Thinking: Five steps for building the world’s most innovative government
Earlier this month, the government published its Technology Innovation Strategy. This announcement represents the government’s strongest ever commitment to embracing innovation and cutting-edge technology. (source:
3rd July 2019
News: Smart cities spending to reach $189 billion in 2023
The latest IDC smart cities spending guide highlights priority areas as resilient energy and infrastructure projects followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation. (source:
3rd July 2019
News: New Prisons Minister's speech on modernising criminal justice
Robert Buckland QC spoke at the Modernising Criminal Justice Conference in his first keynote speech as the Minister of State for Justice. (source:
26th June 2019
New Thinking: Healthcare technology will change lives, eventually
There is some way to go before game-changing technologies are deployed to revolutionise patient care and the working practices of healthcare professionals, but there are encouraging signs of progress. (source:
21st June 2019
News: Darwin switches on Australia's largest smart city
The $10 million project includes 912 LED lights, installation of 138 CCTV cameras and, the addition of 39 new hotspots to extend the city’s free wi-fi. (source:
19th June 2019
New Thinking: What does the next generation of digital public services need to deliver?
To help bridge the inequalities in our society, we must further look to deploy technologies to support citizens to make informed choices and access the various public services and benefits to which they may be entitled.(source:
18th June 2019
New Thinking: How Stockholm is leading the way for Smart Cities
Stockholm is one of the world’s most connected cities, and a beacon for innovators and international talent. We are also a forward-looking city, leading the environmental and smart city agendas. By 2040, we have the ambition to be both carbon neutral and the smartest city in the world. (Source:
14th June 2019
News: UK civil servants to learn about innovation from digital companies
Government Technology Innovation Strategy has set out plans to boost the number of civil servants on secondments to digital companies to “learn from their innovative culture”.(Source:
14th June 2019
News: Australia joins others in signing up to ethical AI guidelines
Last week, Australia and 42 other countries signed up to the OECD's policy guidelines for the ethical development and use of AI. Though very broad, these guidelines seek to form a shared baseline from which to address the very real threat AI may pose to human rights and our way of life if left unchecked. This baseline can, of course, be further developed by other countries, Australia being one example, but by implementing these shared values we can hopefully begin to form a set of rules that can be accepted globally (source:
29th May 2019
New Thinking: User-centred policy design; when is the right time?
Designing policy based around the voices of citizens is, understandably, not always possible or appropriate. There are many instances, however, when these voices can contribute a vast amount and can make or break a policy's outcome. Here, Steve Moilanen explores the idea of "user-centred" design and suggests three situations in which using the process can be most effective (source:
29th May 2019
News: Vancouver's aim to be 100% renewable by 2050
The city of Vancouver has announced its desire to derive 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Its ambitious plans include targeting new builds, altering transportation infrastructure and simplifying access to electronic vehicles. Leading the way in urban energy transformation, other cities may look to Vancouver to find their own solutions to emissions and energy inefficiency (source:
29th May 2019
News: Dubai opens new technological research facility
Joining the four other Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) around the globe, Dubai's new facility aims to support the transformation of the region into an innovative technological hub and paves the way for the city to become truly 'smart' (source:
29th May 2019
New Thinking: The Middle East's burgeoning technological revolution
A growing youth population and new government initiatives in some Middle Eastern countries place the region on the cusp of a technological revolution; however, there are challenges to be overcome. Here, Khalid Al Rumaihi (Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board) discusses how funding for start ups and relaxing of data sovereignty rules can allow growth in this already fertile ground (source:
29th May 2019
Report: Growing focus on social value in UK local authorities
A new report, based on research by Social Enterprise UK, reveals that local councils in the UK are increasingly making spending decisions based not only on cost but also on economic, social and environmental impacts. Data from central government was sadly not significant enough to be analysed but the report provides several recommendations to further improve uptake of social value initiatives (source:
29th May 2019
Blog: Speech by Rupert Soames, Chief Executive of Serco, to the IACCM
Serco CEO speaks to the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management on the pains of doing business with governments with regard to formality versus speed, procurement challenges inherent to the political system, lack of flexibility and the perils of monopoly markets (source: Rupert Soames, CEO Serco plc)
17th May 2019
New Thinking: How to keep the robots from taking jobs
Recent advances in technology have left millions at risk of unemployment through being replaced by machines. Politico asks what tools are available to governments and other organisations to help them respond to this potential crisis (source:
14th May 2019
Policy News: France to make public procurement of food more sustainable
Didier Guillaume, French minister of Agriculture and Food, has established the National Council for Collective Catering, with a focus on organic, sustainable and nutritional food. At a time when problems caused by unhealthy eating and unsustainable food production are high on governmental agendas, it will be interesting to see if this initiative is picked up internationally (source:
10th May 2019
New Thinking: Crowdsourced data to help air pollution, traffic congestion and infrastructure use
Consumers give away a vast amount of data for free to the apps they use. has thought to harness this to improve air pollution, traffic congestion and other city infrastructure. Data collection is of course voluntary and can be crowdsourced on a very local level to make travel more efficient and the air cleaner. They have received EU funding and are looking to expand and implement new technologies (source:
9th May 2019
Policy News: Australian Government publishes Digital Transformation Strategy
The Australian Government has published a Digital Transformation Strategy aimed at allowing citizens digital access to all government services by 2025. The aim is not only to provide Australian citizens with one easy login to all services but also to encourage more interaction at both national and local levels. Will this be more successful than previous ambitions? Only time will tell. (source:
8th May 2019
New Thinking: Developing a Smart City playbook
The concept of 'smart cities' is becoming ever more widespread, with governments and private organisations using the latest technology to manage urban infrastructure more effectively. A coalition of these organisations has been set up to bring to measure global smart city performance and return on investment, allowing for the creation of a playbook for what an effective smart city looks like; available for free in November 2019 (source:
7th May 2019
Policy News: Canadian Public Services and Procurement unveils modernisation plans
As Public Services and Procurement Canada and Shared Services Canada handle more than 75% of the Canadian government's yearly $22bn worth of purchases, their procurement processes need to be modern, responsive and as simple as possible. The new 'Better Buying' initiatives seek to bring these services fully up to date while also increasing competition, innovation and sustainability. Industry seems to have had a valuable input and early outcomes of several programmes look very positive (source:
6th May 2019
News: UK Space Agency makes archive satellite images available
The UK Space Agency has made its archive of satellite data available to all those working in, or connected to, the public sector. Previously used to study such things as the thickness of polar ice, ocean salinity, and cloud properties, the agency hopes its detailed maps will enable SMEs and others to research and innovate to help the UK public sector overcome the challenges it faces (source:
2nd May 2019
What does a renaissance in public service delivery look like, asks Reform..
The UK govt, if it can un-distract itself from Brexit, is in a unique place to reform the way public services are bought and delivered by the private and third sectors (particularly given a third of public expenditure is spent with them says Reform). Properly considering whether to 'make or buy' services, ensure Social Value outcomes are embedded in service design, up-skilling contracting authorities with technical expertise, and ensuring clarity over the lifetime of a contract - key pillars for good public service (source:
18th April 2019
How big should government really be?
How much money is government wasting on public sector spend? What is the optimal % of GDP that governments can afford to get away with to deliver effective public service? How much tax are we as citizens overspending in reality? This insightful paper lays out some ideas around optimal govt size as a % of GDP (30%) across education, health, administration & posits the key question: 'Is it worth spending 10% of GDP more for limited gain given that it needs to be financed through higher taxes or spending elsewhere?' (source:
3rd April 2019
What it takes to deliver good public service according to New Zealand's State Service Commissioner
Peter Hughes says putting the citizen at the fore, humility, & being driven by a higher purpose is what it takes (plus managerial efficiency & tight commercial acumen). Collaboration between agencies to solve complex problems is also key & this will require greater flexibility in data sharing, budget setting, & staffing. Attitudinal change & a focused public service esprit de corps is what it takes (source:
27th March 2019
World Health Organisation's 2016 Review of Integrated Care is still relevant & a useful source for those mapping the landscape with a view to developing solutions
As populations age, putting stress on healthcare services, the onus for developing scalable integrated models of health & care that enable the elderly to live more independently for longer increases. This WHO review sets out key definitions & possible models that we need to build on further (source:
22nd March 2019
UK government seeks consultation on Social Value in public procurement
UK govt goes to suppliers, public bodies & others involved in procurement to consult on initial Social Value framework through which govt depts will evaluate bids on themes around; diverse supply chains, skills & employment, inclusion & wellbeing, environmental sustainability, & safe supply chains (source:
12th March 2019
The OECD's Observatory of Innovation in the Public Sector
Amongst many things, this provides a fascinating global map of innovation in the public sector: SociaLab in Holland looks at ageing populations; Waterdeep in Portugal optimises water consumption; an Open Data Portal in Spain allows citizen analysis of public sector data; E-residency for location-independent businesses in Estonia builds online trust; a Flood Warning system in Finland builds citizen resilience (source:
5th March 2019
UK Government releases 'The Outsourcing Playbook'
Carillion's collapse provoked a (high-time) outsourcing renaissance to redefine the relationship between supplier & buyer of public services. This 'Playbook' is the charter that sets out key new policies for commercial, finance, & delivery professionals across central govt depts that aim to ensure; projects are comfortable from the start for both sides; robust procurement strategies exist; healthy markets are engaged with; contracts are made with suppliers who want to work with govt; and safety mechanisms are in place for the event of failure (source:
21st February 2019
Report: Institute for Fiscal Studies publishes outlook for UK Government's 2019 Spending Review
Key findings: Departmental spending for 2018-19 is +£40 billion lower than in 2009-10, roughly at 2006-7 levels; DFID experience an increase of 25%, whilst the MOJ and DEFRA a reduction of 40%; borrowing is back to pre financial crisis levels; the NHS will recieve £20.5bn increase by 2023; disorderly Brexit does not necessarily mean a decrease in govt spending, but will mean slower economic growth (source:
20th February 2019
Policy: The UK Justice Secretary gives speech on providing a 'smarter' justice system and a shift towards investing in probation services
The Rt Hon David Gauke questioned the effectiveness of 6 month sentencing over using more modern tech-based interventions in the community (source:
18th February 2019
Blog: Bringing local agencies to work together for shared outcomes
How local agencies can work together to reduce harm and vulnerability in communities
7th February 2019
Innovation: The German Public Value Atlas develops a framework for measuring Social Value
Can other governments look to German private sector best practice for how the public purchase of services could measure Social Value? (source:
1st February 2019
Public Policy: The UK govt announced in November 2018 it will now measure & evaluate Social Value in its procurement of public services, yet Social Value remains undefined
It is one thing to demonstrate Social Value qualitatively. But how should it get measured in competitive environments? Should governments look to develop metrics for Social Value so they can rank the competition? (source:
1st February 2019
Opinion: Food for thought from Arup on what Social Value could mean
In light of the government’s move to evaluate ‘Social Value’ in procurement of public services, the public sector can look to businesses that literally build societal and economic benefit through design (source:
1st February 2019
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Our mission is to help enable governments to develop the next generation of public service solutions for citizens through research and innovation in service design.