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.

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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
News: Rupert Soames OBE gives speech introducing the Serco Institute
The purpose of the Institute is to be a forum where academics, civil servants, practitioners, companies small, medium and large, including our competitors, both in this country and abroad, can contribute their ideas.
10th January 2019
News: Dubai breaks boundaries with truly joined up service delivery expos
City Makers in Dubai conduct hackathon style innovation sessions by bringing together multi-agency professionals to work on shared goals (source:
9th January 2019
Report: Institute for Government on the UK's outsourcing landscape in 2018
Institute for Government's first in a series of reports on the outsourcing landscape in the UK. Their key facts: £284bn spent 2017/18 by government on procurement of services from external suppliers (1/3 public expenditure); 28% (& increasing) of central government budget (£178bn); 47% (& declining) of local government (£98bn); overall this is not as much as other OECD countries; but poor quality of procurement data restricts analysis (source:
13th December 2018
Serco Institute and Reform public service debate in Westminster
Watch panel 2 of our event 'Alternative models of service delivery' with speakers Sir Bernard Jenkin MP, Professor Jo Pritchard, Rob Pollock and Rob Owen (source:
12th December 2018
Serco Institute and Reform public service debate in Westminster
Watch panel 1 of our event 'Data and digital rich frontline public service' with speakers George Freeman MP, Nico Henke, Devika Wood and Lisa Barrett (source:
12th December 2018
Rethinking the market for complex public services
(source: Gary L Sturgess)
10th December 2018
US Social Security Act sets up Innovation Center for Medicare & Medicaid programs
Testing models that improve care, lower costs, and performance based payment systems (source:
10th December 2018
US Dept for Homeland Security sets up Procurement Innovation Lab
PIL provides safe space to test new ideas to improve efficiency & effectiveness of procurement (source:
10th December 2018
Dubai Future Foundation on most impactful technologies affecting seven sectors in the UAE
Foresight on tech, water, space, education, health, energy, and how UAE govts support innovation to build cities of the future (source:
10th December 2018
When does government outsourcing work?
10th December 2018
Bettering procurement
Rupert Soames (source:
7th December 2018
Innovation News: Algorithms distort justice in the US
Algorithms are being used in the state and federal criminal justice system in the US to set bail & determine sentences more efficiently, but they are at danger of distorting justice (source:
4th December 2018
The future of public services
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.