Be fair to third sector organisations, commissioners told

Public commissioners must work harder to ensure a level playing field exists for third sector organisations when they are contracting out services, a Government report has concluded.

Understanding the Public Services Industry: How Big, How Good, Where Next?, written by economist DeAnne Julius for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, sets out the state of play in public service commissioning.

Public sector commissioners should strive for a level playing field between public, private and third sector bidders, the report says.

They must ensure that pre-qualification and bid criteria do not unnecessarily restrict third sector organisations, it says, and that the financial implications of bidding for the work be kept to a minimum.

Bid costs incurred by all parties should be reduced by agreeing clear and consistent objectives, simplifying bid documentation, reducing uncertainty around timing and engaging in earlier and more open communication about desired outcomes and risk allocation, the report says.

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