A new All-Party Group, chaired by Bob Blackman MP, has been set up to help investigate how the public sector can save money by becoming a "savvier consumer of outsourcing and shared services".
The Outsourcing and Shared Services Group aims to improve dialogue and understanding between industry representatives and politicians, as well as bring increased transparency to the industry, with an initial meet set up for August 23 in Central London.
Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East and former Leader of Brent Council, believes, “The outsourcing of services represents an opportunity to reduce costs and, at the same time, improve the quality of service provided to the public. As more organisations look to benefit from outsourcing and sharing services, it is vital to learn from past experiences: what had worked and what has not.
"The Group is an unrivalled opportunity to build upon these experiences, ensuring shared learning is incorporated into future outsourcing proposals. We are keen to learn from those experienced in outsourcing, on all sides of the relationship – buyers, suppliers and officials," he added.
One of the participants is outsourcing trade body The National Outsourcing Association (NOA), which says it wants to offer members information on best practice from projects that have been delivered on-time and resulted in achieving their objectives - i.e. improved services or cost savings.
It will also give examples of projects that have not worked, and present the lessons learned.
Martyn Hart, its chair, welcomed the establishment of the group as "a wonderful opportunity for our members to contribute meaningfully to the debate. It gives them chance to showcase their best practice examples and success stories, helping the public sector investigate how to outsource smarter".