Our own Peter Smith of Spend Matters UK/Europe was recently interviewed by Channel 4 News for an article titled Do you know who runs your world? The main gist: with the need to cut costs, UK public entities are increasingly outsourcing aspects of their work to private firms. The article questions whether saving money this way means losing transparency. See an excerpt (and video!) below:
When public contracts move into the private domain, the ability of members of the public to scrutinise them vanishes. Former senior civil servant Peter Smith edits the procurement website Spend Matters and advises companies on outsourcing.
He told Channel 4 News he finds this lack of public oversight worrying: "We can get a lot of information from public bodies through freedom of information.
"Once the Department for Work and Pensions or Ministry of Defence have outsourced some large piece of work - and they're often outsourcing work that includes an element of procurement as well, so the outsourcer is then buying services down the supply chain - we can't ask the same questions.
"I can find out a lot from the MoD or DWP. I can't get that from Serco or Carillion or G4S."
Here's more from Peter: