Press Notice 40, Session 2006-07

9 July 2007

PASC TO HEAR EXPERIENCES OF "CONTESTABILITY" IN PUBLIC SERVICE CONTRACTING

PASC - the Public Administration Select Committee - is continuing its inquiry into Commissioning Public Services from the Third Sector with an extra meeting this week, taking evidence from the National Consumer Council and from the former Prison Service supreme Martin Narey - now the Chief Executive of Barnardos.

Increasingly government buys our "public" services from charities and the private sector, and one major example of this policy shift was the creation of the National Offender Management Service in 2004, merging the Prison and Probation services to create what the Government envisages as essentially a commissioning body rather than a direct service provider. Martin Narey will be asked about his experience on both sides of "commissioning": he was head of the Prison Service when NOMS was created, and is now chief executive of the major children's charity Barnardos, which already has a lot of experience delivering public service contracts in this new era of "contestability".

The NCC has recently published a report into the public's experience of services provided by charities - suggesting that the service provided by charities is not always noticeably better than is usual in the public sector. PASC will hear from the author of that report, Alison Hopkins, as well as the NCC's Deputy Chief Executive, Philip Cullum.

The evidence session will take place at 2.15pm on Tuesday 10 July in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House.


FURTHER INFORMATION:

Committee Membership is as follows: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 72190724, [email protected]

Specific Committee Information: Email: [email protected] Tel: 020 7219 3284

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/pasc

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv