Outsourcing vital services - the debate rages on in the public sector

CIPS 19 July 2012

CIPS responds to the debate about outsourcing.

The BBC reports today on Ed Miliband's comments and accusations about an 'outsourcing fiasco'.

Concernsover outsourcing policing contracts overshadows London 2012 and the debate will continue for some time yet.

CIPS CEO David Noble comments: "As any procurement professional will know, the most productive approach to the outsourcing issue is looking at the advantages of make v. buy as a base point.

"There are many advantages to outsourcing, but they are often forgotten in the midst of political wrangling. An outsourcing decision can bring benefits including innovation and creativity, enhanced use of technology, more accurate forecasting and a specialist approach not available within the department itself.

"However, this should all be managed in the confines of a well-written contract, with clear service-level agreements, KPIs, and a commitment to managing the ongoing relationship carefully. Understanding the risks involved can save money and reputational damage. Keeping your supplier close and having an open, honest relationship ensures any danger of things going wrong is reduced, or at least spotted early and corrected.

"Good procurement outsourcing begins and ends with a clear understanding of the objectives and benefits, and politics should be left out of the discussion."

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