Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Outsourcing is not the answer

Economic commentators this morning are enthusiastic over the opportunities for Crapita, Pissco and Interscrew from government spending cuts. This will be the real test of Big State vs Localism.

There are essentially two ways in which the civil service can meet Osborne's targets. It either stops doing stuff, or does everything cheaper. The second option has always been the favourite of central Statists; it allows them to continue to wield control, but of a poor quality, demoralised, outsourced service loathed by the public. The monkeys at the front line of Crapita and Pissco's 'services' catch all the flak and suffer high rates of attrition, whilst the shareholders reap the yields from skilfully negotiated contracts that offer less value to the public purse the longer they run for.

The real answer is for the central State to stop doing stuff. If it really needs doing, most of it can be done locally, and a complete stoppage is better than a poor substitute from Crapita. But what are the chances of being able to prise the clenched fists of the mandarins from the reins of power?

1 comment:

English Pensioner said...

It is worth looking at the United States. There it seems that Central Government has less overall power than in the UK. There the individual States have considerable power, and they fight tooth & nail against any Central government interference. This is helped by the fact that their Senators tend to put their State before their party when it comes to a vote. I believe it is a model we could well adopt, giving the County Councils far greater responsibility for many issues and leaving them to get on without diktats from Whitehall.