Open Public Services White Paper

I’ve been meaning to write something about the Government’s Open Public Services White Paper, which was published in July.

The White Paper suggests a new approach to public services, one that will be partly achieved by opening up services to a range of providers. It argues that better services can be achieved by encouraging innovation in service delivery, an approach we are already exploring in Barnet.

Of particular interest to me was the section about services commissioned by local government, as this closely relates to the council’s transformation programme. As the paper explains, local authorities are usually the most appropriate bodies to decide how local services should be delivered. The Government is keen to encourage the opening up of locally commissioned services in a range of areas, including:

  • customer contact
  • planning
  • property and facilities management
  • back-office transactional services
  • family support
  • support for looked-after children
  • trading standards and environmental services
  • housing management.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Barnet is already speaking to the market to find partners to deliver several of these services. We have recognised that we need to tap into private sector expertise to find new, more innovative ways to deliver services.

For more information, you can read the Open Public Services White Paper or visit the open public services website.


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