In the mid-1980s, prompted by the passing of Single European Act, the European Union embarked upon an ambitious programme of liberalisation to complete the Single Market. This included the opening up of many national industries to pan-European competition. EU public procurement law has been a crucial pillar to this agenda as EU institutions have sought to encourage cross-border, pan-European purchasing of public contracts. The paper examines the scope of EU procurement law, public markets vs public services, UK experience of outsourcing, PPPs and employment issues.
New community rights to bid, buy, build, challenge and provide are enshrined in legislation and Coalition policy. The government is also extending existing individual rights to buy and to personal budgets. This paper examines the objectives and scope of the new community rights and proposes a typology of public sector reform rights. It highlights the fundamental conflicts between ‘rights’, ‘choice’ and ‘contract’ cultures and localism. It assesses the conflicts and contradictions between community and commissioning, participation and empowerment, and the impact on democratic accountability, public finance, employment, equalities, the changing role of the state and community, voluntary and non-profit organisations. Includes a typology of rights, the new community rights, new pathways to privatisation and the essence of a contract culture.
“This is not so much a ‘hollowing out’ of the state, but a fundamental redirection to finance and manage markets and collusion in the deepening of corporate welfare.” Chartist, July/August 2012.
The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) has reversed its decision to award a ten-year 999 Fire Control managed services contract to Capita plc. Instead the LFEPA will enter into a contract for a replacement mobilising system only. This means that the 120 control staff will remain employed by the Authority. ESSU produced a detailed analysis making the case against outsourcing for the FBU, UNISON and GMB late last year.