Make public-private partnerships work for citizens and for business

Public contracting needs a rethink


Procurement, done well, can improve public services and infrastructure, boost innovation and drive prosperity. It ensures the services we all rely on – from refuse collection to major infrastructure like HS2 – are high-quality and future-proofed. But current practices are creating a race to the bottom and bureaucracy is preventing effective partnerships between the public and private sector.


The change we’re calling for


We’re calling on business and government to work together to ensure public-private partnerships deliver economic, social, and environmental value across the UK. Business needs to embed best practices such as social value, environmental sustainability, and good corporate behaviours in their everyday work. Government must commit to delivering better outcomes, not just the lowest costs, and focus on partnerships not transactions.

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    Create new public procurement rules and regulations that will enable the best outcomes

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    Embed social value and environmental sustainability at the heart of all public-private partnerships to maximise the impact of public spending

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    Support strong partnerships between public and private sectors based on fair and open relationships to reduce the risks involved

The value of effective public-private partnerships


Good relationships don't just benefit business

The sheer scale of the market means great partnerships between the public and private sector are vital for the wider economy.

  • The government’s yearly spend on buying goods and services from external supplier - almost one third of total public expenditure

  • of CBI members believe that service quality was the main driver of contract awards

  • companies in the UK supply to the public sector, ranging from large multi-national companies to micro-businesses

Preparing for the future of procurement


The public procurement landscape is changing rapidly and businesses of all shapes and sizes need to ensure they are prepared for those changes to continue winning contracts. Read more about the impact of Brexit, the new social value requirements, or what working with the defence sector will look like.

  • Political —

    Making social value a mandatory part of public contracts

  • Political —

    Preparing for no deal: the changes in public procurement

  • The future of defence procurement

  • Decarbonisation —

    Public-private partnerships: lessons from COVID-19

Our progress and impact


The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  • Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to make public-private partnerships work for citizens and business.

  • Have your say

    Contribute your thoughts and experiences to strengthen the CBI mandate on public procurement, ensuring policies work for your business.

  • Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's Policy Unit. Contact Liz Crowhurst, Director of Policy Unit, to find out about the progress UK business urgently needs and how you can support it.