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IfG response to yesterday's National Audit Office reports
Responding to the National Audit Office reports ‘Memorandum on Managing government suppliers’ and ‘Memorandum on the role of major contractors in the delivery of public services’, the Institute for Government’s Director of Research, Tom Gash, said:
“Greater transparency in contracts is a pre-requisite for rebuilding public trust and confidence. If the public cannot find out how much money is going to a provider, and what they are getting in return, it is hard to see how scepticism will wane.
“We also agree that contract management is often poor. The current pace and scale of outsourcing outstrips the ability of Whitehall officials to design and manage complex contracts effectively. Government should therefore phase changes when outsourcing services for the first time and avoiding contracts that lock taxpayers into service models that can quickly become outdated when policies, technologies or provider capabilities change.
“Without a more transparent and measured approach to outsourcing high profile failures are likely to multiply.”