Published: 13th Mar 2014

At a time of austerity cuts, mounting demand, and rising expectations, the challenges to public services have never been greater. How we respond to these challenges will affect the lives of millions of people, and play a significant role in resolving the country’s financial problems. In recent years the prevailing view, in the Treasury and elsewhere, has been that public service efficiency can be driven by a combination of scale and standardisation. That this strategy has experienced setbacks is not in dispute. Names such as Serco and A4E spring quickly to mind. But the government response has been to try to make the strategy work better, by enhancing the skills of government procurement teams, or improving supply chain management by prime contractors. Meanwhile the underlying assumption, that the difficulties facing public services will be met through scale and standardisation, is not being challenged. Locality’s and Vanguard’s ‘diseconomies of scale’ report, … (To read the full article, subscribe below)