Better commissioning is a critical part of the future for local government. As councils redefine themselves for a new era of high demand and tight budgets, the quality of the processes they use to shape and source their services is becoming a critical issue. There is a very real sense in which local authorities lead the field in the quality of their commissioning practice, and recent years have seen the development of innovative new approaches in areas such as back office services and education.
Better commissioning is not just about local government, but also about the way the business community behaves. This kind of system shift will not be easy – system shifts never are – but this paper sets out some of the steps that will be necessary to create the next market for local public services.