In-house services favoured over council outsourcing

The Association for Public Service Excellence has found that councils are tending to reject the outsourcing of services, preferring to deliver services in-house.

Using a 2017 survey as a basis, the not-for-profit local government body revealed that 73 per cent of responding local aithorities indicated that they had started – or were in the process of starting – insourcing a service. At the time, approximately 45 per cent reported having already finished the process.

APSE’s report, Rebuilding Capacity: the case for insourcing services, claims that the ‘promised efficiencies’ of outsourcing have failed to deliver, with difficulties in specifying complex services often leading to cost increases. Furthermore, insourcing has become a popular response to the austerity measures forced upon councils by the Conservative government, allowing councillors and service users more democratic control of service provision.

In fact, nearly two thirds of local authorities cited greater efficiency as their reason for turning to insourcing and near to 60 per cent said they were doing so to improve quality.

Paul O’Brien, APSE chief executive, said: “By taking back control of local services, insourcing can make it much easier for councils to adopt a community wealth building approach to service delivery; allowing for supply change management, jobs and skills and environmental endeavours. As austerity continues to bite, this report has found that insourcing has helped many councils across the UK lock wealth into their local communities and drive prosperity.”

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