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Tuesday, 7th October 2014

UK: Subsidising Unfairness: How Outsourcing Companies Use of Taxpayers’ Money Increases Inequality

Source: Equality Trust (UK)

From the Introduction:

Since the late 1970s we have seen the growth of a new model of public service provision – public sector procurement, or ‘outsourcing’. Services traditionally managed and delivered by public servants, employed directly by the government, have been increasingly contracted out to third-party – private and voluntary sector - organisations through procurement processes.

The value of government contracts handed to the private sector has increased dramatically over the last five years and is likely to continue growing at a rapid pace. Seymour Pierce, a City Stockbroker, has identified 1,789 outsourcing opportunities worth £84bn in the government pipeline and has estimated that total public sector outsourcing could reach £101bn by 2014-15.

This recent growth in outsourcing of government services to private providers has been widely criticised for poor transparency, poor management of government money and, in particular, excessive remuneration of top executives and pay inequality between employees.

There are positive examples of public sector outsourcing, however extreme pay inequality and a succession of scandals in the largest government suppliers suggests that, in its present form, government outsourcing is a poor use of tax payers’ money and not fit for purpose.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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