A Practical Guide to Outsourcing in the Public Sector

A Practical Guide to Outsourcing cover


This guide sets out the key issues that public sector organisations need to consider at each stage of the outsourcing process. It also provides an up-to-date summary of recent developments, including key provisions of the revised EU procurement rules, which came into effect in the UK on 26 February 2015.








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This is the first time that an impartial guide of this type has been published, which not only explains each step of the outsourcing process, but also sets out the background and context to assist public sector organisations in deciding whether outsourcing is the right solution in each case.

The purpose of this guide is to help public sector organisations to:

  • understand the pros and cons of outsourcing
  • decide when outsourcing is the right solution
  • consider alternative options, such as shared services
  • plan, procure and manage outsourcing projects effectively
  • learn lessons from successes and failures elsewhere.

The topics covered include:

  • the difference between outsourcing and commissioning
  • the public sector outsourcing market in the UK
  • successes and failures of outsourcing
  • bucking the trend – examples of insourcing
  • benefits of a strategic approach to commissioning
  • choosing the right delivery model
  • pros and cons of outsourcing
  • alternatives to outsourcing
  • planning an outsourcing project
  • procuring a supplier
  • contract mobilisation
  • managing the contract and the relationship with the supplier
  • exit strategies.

This publication is aimed at everyone in the public sector who is involved in or would like to gain an understanding of the subject, including elected members, senior management and those working in procurement, finance, legal services, project management, contract management and service delivery.

The guide demystifies the jargon around outsourcing and is written in a non-technical way that will appeal to a wide audience both in the UK and elsewhere.

This publication is available in hard copy and online.

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