Bookmark and ShareJosh Ryan-Collins works on sustainable procurement and commissioning at nef.

In the name of “modernisation”, the government has insisted on competitive commissioning, a narrow focus on financial efficiency savings, and investment through the private finance initiative (PFI) that builds up long-term debts. It has shown a strong preference for large, aggregated contracts. In other words, public services have been subject to the same blind faith in market forces as the rest of the economy.

The failure of unregulated markets will take a double toll on public services. A recession means fewer taxes to pay the bills. And the market “rules” that have been reshaping the public sector now threaten their long-term viability.

But crisis brings opportunity. Public services will have to find new ways to create real value. One way is to develop service models that deliver multiple benefits in the short term, and build future resilience. There are plenty of examples that show how this could be done…

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Or take a look at Time Banking, Transition Towns or Co-production nef‘s manifesto for growing the core economy.

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