Vive la devolution: devolved public-service commissioning

Government delivers north of £300 billion of human public services each year – including healthcare, welfare-to-work programmes and offender management.

Currently the way these services are commissioned does not achieve value for money. Central commissioning fails to reward outcomes, leads to duplications and gaps in services, and does not tailor services to different needs across the country.

A radical new offer is needed. The devolution agenda in England should be drastically accelerated. Over £100 billion of services, including 95 per cent of the NHS's budget, can be commissioned by 38 councils across the country. This will simplify today’s complex commissioning framework, free up administrative spend and, crucially, enable policymakers and commissioners to deliver higher-quality services tailored to the needs of citizens.

Reform are proposing a devolved commissioning model that moves the focus of the devolution agenda from economic growth to public service reform.

"To deliver services that work for all, this should be the aim for this government and subsequent ones."

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