Outsourcers call for government conduct standards

National Outsourcing Association says auditor’s report on UKTI makes clear the need for better framework for managing contracts

A majority of outsourcers working with the public sector believe there is a need for clear standards of conduct, according to the National Outsourcing Association (NOA).

It says that, in a poll of its members conducted after the National Audit Office’s sharp criticisms of UK Trade and Industry’s (UKTI) outsourcing standards, 72% of those working in or with the public sector said they were in favour of standards.

In addition, 80% of those in the UK industry outsourcing industry overall supported the proposal.

The auditor’s report on UKTI said its governance of procurement for sector specialist services with PA Consulting had been weak, that it lacked the minimum documentation, pricing was unclear and it breached good practice.

Kerry HallardKerry Hallard (pictured), chief executive officer of the NOA, said: “The National Audit Office has determined that UKTI’s outsourcing has fallen ‘well below the standards in managing public money’. The issue here is blindingly obvious – there are no real standards for how public sector outsourcing should be conducted, and our research has found that those responsible for managing the government’s contracts are crying out for clear guidance.

“Implementing best practice in outsourcing has been top of the National Outsourcing Association’s agenda since day one. This year we launched our Corporate Accreditation Programme to help organisations eliminate outsourcing weaknesses and achieve outsourcing excellence throughout the contract lifecycle, especially those in the public sector.

“The BBC recently became the first public sector organisation to achieve corporate accreditation with the NOA.”

Last year the NOA warned that government lacks the skills to get the best from IT and business process outsourcing. Hallard predicted it would increase, but expressed concerns that the government would fail to get the best value and needed to make investments to deal with the shortcoming.

Picture from NOA