New models of governance and public services

Localism, decentralisation, market making and ICT

Managing markets: getting the right skills in place

, 1 February 2016

What is the Government doing to address the skills gap? Around £62 billion is spent a year across the UK central government on public sector contracts (not including the NHS). Yet as Adrian Kamellard, Director of the Commercial Profession in the Cabinet Office recognises, the Government does not currently have the necessary commercial capability...

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Delivering development: lessons from DFID’s implementation units

, 19 January 2016

Delivery units have become a truly global phenomenon. They now operate in over 20 jurisdictions, spanning six continents. And this trend shows no sign of letting up. In September 2015, New South Wales, Australia became the latest member of the club, while Canada’s newly-elected federal government is now looking to import the model. But,...

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Devolution will make you happy

, 15 January 2016

A good constitution sets a framework within which government can operate effectively. The UK (England in particular) has been over-centralised, leading to poor performance in some areas of government. Devolution of power within England can therefore create a more balanced constitution that will provide better government and policy outcomes. In a nutshell, this was...

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How can local public services get better at learning from each other?

, 18 December 2015

In our report Joining Up Public Services Around Local, Citizen Needs we highlighted several examples of how to join up local services. As our new interactive timeline shows, since 1997 there have been many initiatives aimed at improving ‘joining up’. To achieve system-wide change, we need better ways of spreading these models and practices. If...

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New approaches to integration and collaboration in public service markets

, 7 December 2015

Unlocking innovation with joint ventures Christine Chang, Investment Director at Big Society Capital, called joint ownership across social and private sectors “the key to innovation”. She used the recently funded Public Services Lab in Liverpool – a collaboration between Interserve and Catch22 – as an example of the success of this method. The Lab...

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Managing failure and turnaround in public services

, 2 December 2015

Managing failure is one of the most critical issues public services are grappling with at the moment. The Government’s recent Spending Review might have been met with relief in some quarters but, having already absorbed a 27% reduction in the last five years, local authorities face significant further cuts in real terms between now...

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What devolution deals will mean for the skills system

, 18 November 2015

We’ve now seen significant devolution deals that include devolving skills powers to Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Sheffield, Cornwall, Tees Valley, the North East Combined Authority, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Liverpool City Region. In the July Budget, local areas were invited to submit their proposals for new devolution deals with the Government. By...

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To join up services, build readiness to collaborate

, 17 November 2015

Without ‘real and meaningful’ public service reform, George Osborne’s devolution revolution will remain a work in progress: this is the case made by the Institute for Government’s Jo Casebourne in an article for The Guardian recently. It is hard to disagree. So the question is not whether, but how and with whom, this needs...

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Progress on contract transparency stalled

, 9 November 2015

In March this year, the Institute for Government set out recommendations for enhancing transparency in public service contracts. We proposed a set of standard transparency provisions that would compel suppliers to publish top-level information about contracted services, such as the fees charged to government and headline performance indicators. The then-Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude...

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Making the most of devolution to join up public services around local, citizen needs

, 4 November 2015

In September 2015 various cities, towns and counties across the country submitted proposals for a significant transfer of powers from central to local government. A month later, a £900 million devolution deal with Sheffield City Region was announced, with the North East Combined Authority deal following soon after. Although the focus on boosting local...

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