Task force reviews progress towards ‘public service mutuals’

The independent Mutual Task Force which is advising government on its plans for wider mutualisation of public services, especially in health, probation services, education, and social care has just published its latest report. This makes the case for public service mutuals based on evidence emerging from a range of mutual/shared ownership models in the UK, Europe and elsewhere, reviews progress to date across Whitehall departments, and — and this is really the interesting bit — makes a series of recommendations to government about the next steps in this area of policy.

There are seventeen recommendations and they begin on p.33 of the report. They include the proposal that by December 2012 the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Education, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice should be required to draw up and publish plans that set out each department’s vision for the development and implementation of mutualisation, including the Right to Provide.

By April of 2013 the named departments should also set out clear pathways for staff wishing to explore mutual models of delivery, and this, the report, suggests, should include an ‘escalation point’ — an organisation or individual to which conflicts, obstacles or other problems can be reported and redress sought.

If adopted, these could well be amongst the most far-reaching recommendations the report makes.

The report is also very useful for the other policy documents it references — these include statutory guidance on the community Right to Challenge (CLG) and a number of useful internal consultation documents (education, Ministry of Justice etc).

Well worth downloading and keeping to hand.

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