Thursday, 9 February 2012

What has become of the public sector...

Nice to see that some sort of research (albeit very imperfect research) is finally being done on the scale of outsourcing in the public sector. The fact remains however, that we still don't actually know the extent to which what was known as the public sector has been impacted by outsourcing.

Fully determining this is an enormously  complicated business, and one which will get even more so. For instance take someone employed by Capita who is assessing Housing Benefit claims on behalf of a Local Authority. Sure they're not a public sector worker, but neither are they a private sector worker in the traditional sense - after all the way they do much of their job and the funding for it is still provided by the LA. Even more complicated if the person in question is working for multiple clients across the sectors, or who is not providing services directly, but is providing auxiliary services to those who do......

What's happening is a more complex hybridisation than a simple public/private, or even public/private/third dichotomy. In fact I'd go as far as saying that our understandings of the word 'sector' need to be thrown away.

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