Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Democratise Commissioning

The day started appallingly. Going to clean my shoes I manage to empty the contents of one of those nasty little liquid shoe clean bottles over my suit trousers. Then a hellish trip on the tube.

Arrive for our PWC-ACEVO "Democratising Commissioning" conference in grumpy mode. Soon lifted by some brilliant contributions on how we use the current public spending crisis to radically reform commissioning around what citizens and Communities need from state funded services.

PWC and ACEVO have set up a small group of Commissioners, from the public and private sectors with third sector organisations, to discuss how we change commissioning policies and practices. We call it "The Admiralty House Group" after our first meeting which took place in said esteemed building.

The conference today is aimed at drawing up ideas to present to Government on reform. The goal is better. More effective delivery of services that are personal and practical. There is a real danger at present that Government is being too macho about cuts now without thinking how cuts should lead to Departments thinking more radically about how to provide services.

There is a superb article on this in Sunday's Guardian by Madeleine Bunting. Read it.

She says, "a week after a grim budget, with the prospect of more savage cuts to come, the cost cutting is obvious. But how exactly services in many areas are to be improved remains opaque".

So the challenge to Government is use the cuts agenda to get a better public service, not to damage it through mindless butchery. Time they talked to the third sector on how we can help deliver this.

No comments: