Sodexo boss Aidan Connolly has called on the Government to use the experience of the private sector to help reduce the deficit and improve public services.
The chief execuctive of the catering and facilities management giant said that a greater desire for consistency was needed and that the Government should look to more outcome-based solutions in a bid to cut costs, with many commissioners in the public sector lacking the procurement skills to drive change through.
Speaking at a Reform event held at the London Stock Exchange, Connolly said: "In our experience, clients who are prepared to partner with us will achieve more value out of us in the long-run. There is a real issue here about the public sector's lack of ability to share best practice. The gulf between the best and the worst is bigger than it should be".
He added that there should be more "payment by results" if the Government is to achieve "less from less with better outcomes" and that for competition to fully drive value it would be key for the public sector to differentiate between its role as a commissioner and a provider of services.
"The Government's role as commissioner should be to decide upon the outcome desired and then go to market with a framework to reward the provider which is most effective at delivering that outcome in a cost-effective manner," he said.
"We understand the need to deliver more for less and recognise that, in order to achieve this, a transformational leap in the way business is done is required."
He also explored the option of entirely removing financial risk from the Government and cited an example of a recent collaboration between Sodexo's justice arm, Kalyx, the Ministry of Justice and a contracted third-sector provider, to provide a new "Social Impact Bond" mode, which takes the financial risk and return on production of the social outcome.
By Janie Stamford
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