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Within the refreshed Programme for Government, under the pledge to ‘Make our cities, towns and villages even better places in which to live and work’ there is a commitment to:
“… explore where services and contracts can sustainably and affordably be brought back into a strengthened public sector”.
The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) have been appointed by the Welsh Government to review the procurement landscape in Wales and provide an options appraisal which explores insourcing. The key policy driver behind the commitment of exploring insourcing is the pursuit of a socially just, fair work agenda for Wales, recognising that insourcing can result in enhanced local employment conditions.
This interim report highlights the importance to embed a systematic and proactive approach to consider insourcing and the impact insourcing can make to service models. Such an approach would take a rounded view of value for money, applying a Well-being of Future Generations Act lens to service design options.
The report examines lessons learnt from case studies of both outsourcing and insourcing from across the public sector in the UK and Wales. Following this interim report, we will produce an additional report providing a feasibility study and a recommended toolkit for Welsh public sector organisations. These will help guide organisations to put the commitment into practice, to consider insourcing at a strategic level.
The toolkit will be published shortly, drawing on the key themes, lessons learned, and proposed criteria set out in this interim report.
This work will help to ensure that insourcing is routinely considered with a clear thread from the Well-being of Future Generations Act running through the decision-making process of the service design options. However, it is important to note that the responsibility of routinely considering insourcing does not just sit with procurement; insourcing needs to be considered holistically within organisations, with ‘buy’ in from Senior Leaders. Moving forward, the toolkit should be used as a proactive and routine appraisal for insourcing against the Well-being Goals and Ways of Working, with a view to achieving longer term social and economic goals and improved population well-being, as well as service efficiency and quality, which can also affect costs in in the long term.
John F Coyne
Director, Commercial & Procurement
The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has been appointed by the Commercial and Procurement Directorate of Welsh Government to review the procurement landscape in Wales and provide an options appraisal with recommendations and guidance on opportunities where services and contracts can sustainably and affordably be brought back into a strengthened Welsh public sector.
Work to date includes:
- A desk-based research and evidence review of:
- The legal and policy context
- Approaches taken in the other devolved nations of the UK
- Existing UK (and specifically Welsh) research, commentary, and published information
- Examples and case studies of both outsourcing and insourcing from across the public sector in the UK and Wales.
- A light-touch analysis to contextualise the scale of insourcing opportunities.
- Interviews with key stakeholders in Wales and with case study areas in Wales and the wider UK.
The final output from this work will be a report providing a feasibility study and a recommended ‘blueprint’ or toolkit for the Welsh public sector, to guide decision making processes, identifying where services and contracts can sustainably and affordably be brought back (insourced), and outlining how this can make a strengthened Welsh public sector.
This interim report summarises the findings from the evidence review, data analysis, and stakeholder interviews. This will provide a conceptualised evidence base which will inform the development of the toolkit.