Procuring public services
Securing strong delivery partnerships
A new procurement cycle should run when existing services can no longer maximise outcomes through refinement alone
An effective commissioning cycle will determine public service needs and inequities, reconcile priorities and develop new service pathways that carry the confidence of commissioning leaders, consumers and public service professionals.
This pathway then needs to be implemented and a key consideration is whether existing services can be refined or whether there is a need for a complete procurement cycle because:
- The new pathway is so fundamentally different in workflow, public service delivery and intended outcomes
- There is a need to attract and test the appetite of new market entrants
- The implementation would benefit from different perspectives of potential public service providers.
The decision to procure needs to consider the impact on the existing provider landscape and whether decommissioning would have consequential impacts on other services and how these are delivered.
Dialogue with consumers and public service professionals is a vital precursor to procurement
A critical first stage in any procurement is to develop the service specification. Commissioners must seize the opportunity to involve public service consumers and professionals in informal dialogue about the specification prior to the launch of the procurement.
This step can reveal important intelligence about workflow, risks, dependencies and crucially, the cost profile of the new service, even if the expected costs themselves remain confidential.
This dialogue provides the commissioner with confidence that a procurement strategy will succeed
The procurement strategy needs to recognise the market and the nature of the service specification.
A wide range of contract vehicles can also be used including ‘sole provider’, ‘lead provider’, ‘consortium’, ‘partnership’ etc. and each have their merits depending on the desired outcomes.
It is vital, however, that commissioners recognise that whatever contract vehicle is chosen, this will impact on the behaviour and mindset of the successful provider.
A necessary step is to evaluate potential risks and undertake simulations of possible scenarios before confirming contractual clauses.
What we do
We help you streamline your public services procurement processes
We apply international good practice in public service procurement to re-design your processes. This leads to faster procurements, with fewer handoffs, less stress and reduced risks. Our overall approach for procurement process simplifies the following key steps of the procurement process:
Streamlining the procurement process
We help you develop a clear service specification supported by a robust logic model
A necessary first step is the development of a comprehensive service specification that includes intended public service outcomes, treatment regimes, workflow, information flows and workforce.
Our approach is to articulate this through the development of a logic model which is developed through dialogue with public service consumers and professionals. Our approach to developing logic models is summarised below:
Procuring public services
We help you develop public service procurement strategies that maximise outcomes from investments
We help you design and evaluate the public service procurement strategy. This involves consideration of the potential market, the risks of procurement and decommissioning and the likely competition benefits/dis-benefits.
In parallel, we work with public service commissioners to evaluate different contractual vehicles and payment mechanisms and how these could incentivise and dis-incentivise intended behaviours.
We help you design procurements with measurable indicators of success that lead to long-term collaborative relationships with providers
By carefully co-designing the service logic model, we help you identify a balanced set of performance indicators to monitor and evaluate public service delivery.
We support procurements that are not confrontational. Working alongside legal teams, our approach is to support a professional procurement strategy that is disciplined, thorough and focussed on the intended outcomes. This provides the basis for a long-term partnership that benefits commissioners, their populations and the successful provider.