The Commissioning Joint Committee Guide to Alternative Bases of Service Provision


Authorities have never been under so much pressure to find alternative bases of service provision – to competition, types of contract, and service providers – and there have never been so many available.

In this guide, the Commissioning Joint Committee (CJC) explains the pros and cons of these alternatives, to help you make informed decisions.








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By alternative bases, the CJC means alternative vehicles – alternatives to competition, alternative types of contract, and alternative types of service providers.

Authorities have never been under so much pressure to find alternative bases of service provision, and there have never been so many available at the same time. The CJC believes that many of them are worth considering, in the right circumstances, and that they have some outstanding pros and cons. The guide looks in particular at:

  • vehicles for delivering integrated services
  • big contracts for small service providers
  • contracts whose end users act also as client officers
  • working through joint ventures
  • service provision by social enterprises
  • service provision by community groups
  • service provision by neighbourhood councils, and
  • service provision funded by grants.

The CJC has tried to look at these alternatives at street level, and the guide is addressed to two groups. Firstly, to the decision-makers who will have to decide, often against the clock, which if any of these alternatives to take up. Secondly, to the practitioners who will have to make cases for the best alternatives, make them work when they are adopted, and pick up the pieces if they go wrong.

This publication is available as a book and bookmarked PDF.

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