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Public services are critical for people, businesses, and the wider economy. They underpin a healthy and productive workforce, contributing to sound public finances by meeting changing public expectations in a fiscally sustainable way. The CBI works with businesses and the Government to harness investment and innovation vital to delivering world-class public services.

Top priorities

  1. Commercial delivery of transformational reform – A transformational approach to public services supports sustainable public finances and improves the outcomes that matter to the public. Commitments to modernise delivery in areas such as criminal justice and digital illustrate that the Government is keen to embrace new methods of working. The CBI is ensuring that the business voice is represented as Government begins to shape its contracts.
  2. Improving government’s management of risk in contracts – Commissioning transformational services carries an inherent level of uncertainty, requiring close partnerships between the Government and suppliers to manage risk proportionately. Recent contracting practices have been better suited to cost-cutting, which can limit the potential of business to transform services. We are working to help improve the management of risk in Government contracts.
  3. Enhancing sector competitiveness – Making public service markets more competitive is crucial to unlocking businesses’ potential contributions to service transformation. Yet growing procurement complexity, plus the cumulative burden of wider government policy, make many firms think twice about bidding for work. The CBI helps to shape procurement policy at both UK and EU levels, championing the sector’s considerable contributions to help encourage innovative companies to compete.
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Policy issues affecting the industry

  • Criminal justice reform – The Government intends to modernise courts administration, back-office support for the police, and the prison estate. Presently, reoffending costs taxpayers around £10bn a year. To achieve better outcomes and reduce costs, agencies must collaborate more. Business investment and innovation will be key to introducing new systems, and we are identifying opportunities, working with the Government.
  • Reducing fraud, error and debt – Fraud, error and debt affect many parts of the public sector, and tackling it is a priority. Yet the Government has struggled to take a collective approach, making it harder to build capability in departments. Many businesses already have such systems in place, and we are looking at how the Government can unlock this innovation.
  • SME procurement target – The Government aims to increase SME procurement spending to 33%. This will require changes in how it procures, including reducing barriers to entry and making best use of supply chains. We are developing ideas for how bidding for contracts can be made more attractive to companies of all sizes.
  • Cumulative burden – A combination of wider government initiatives, in particular the Apprenticeship Levy and National Living Wage, are having a negative cumulative effect on business. We will continue to be at the forefront in helping business to navigate the changes and we will work with the Low Pay Commission and government to get the best and most affordable approach.
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How to get involved

  • As a member you’ll receive invites to exclusive events throughout the year with high profile speakers from business and politics.
  • Sign up to Public Services Network to receive our latest public service intelligence from across policy and business.
  • Help shape our policy, becoming part of the CBI’s collective voice on public service issues.

To find out more about how CBI membership can benefit your business, fill out the form below.

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What our members are telling us:

Gareth Hughes
CEO, Marston Holdings

Public services are of vital importance, not just for those of us who deliver services, but to every one of us as taxpayers. In an environment of increasing financial pressures and high public expectation, collaboration and innovation are critical for services to meet public need.

Find out how CBI membership can benefit your business

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