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Public open markets are private closed shops

Richard Johnson / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 802 views

Is a Social Serco possible? Challenging the public sector monopoly on some public services has the potential to deliver better social impact. However, the difficulty in opening a public sector market to competition from other sectors is that market making…

Misguided or misleading?

Richard Johnson / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 801 views

The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, rightly praises the achievements of the Peterborough and Doncaster pilots for their impact on reoffending rates. But is his suggestion that the national outsourcing of probation services will resemble these pilots worryingly misguided or purposefully…

Spend to offend (the outsourcing of probation)

Richard Johnson / June 29, 2015 at 8:35 PM 4,318 views

The Ministry of Justice has set out the proposed payment mechanism for the forthcoming “rehabilitation programme” contracts. The mechanism appears to be a relatively straightforward and robust funding model. However, despite the rhetoric about a “rehabilitation revolution”, this is the…

Risky business

Richard Johnson / June 29, 2015 at 8:35 PM 821 views

The following piece appeared in The Guardian on 22nd May 2013. It is banging a drum we have been beating on here repeatedly. The underspend on the Work Programme (as noted in the Select Committee’s newly published report) is a stark…

Endemic 'creaming and parking' on the Work Programme

Richard Johnson / June 29, 2015 at 8:33 PM 997 views

The Third Sector Research Council (TSRC), part-funded by the Cabinet Office, have published a thoughtful and thorough report on the Work Programme. The report provides an excellent background to the Programme and explores whether or not third sector organisations who are…

From the archive: The Serco smoke screen

Richard Johnson / July 8, 2014 at 8:39 PM 1,427 views

We must be careful that the corporate failures of the big outsourcers in the UK, such as Serco and G4S, do not become a smoke screen behind which failures of the commissioners are forgotten. Media coverage this week of Serco’s…

From the archive: Grayling’s secret revolution

Richard Johnson / February 8, 2014 at 8:38 PM 1,231 views

Chris Grayling, the UK’s Secretary of State for Justice and “Tory attack dog”, is about to do what Thatcher and successive Prime Ministers (of all persuasions) were unable to achieve – throw the public sector open to total privatisation. Grayling’s…