Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Edinburgh spending review

As one way to save money Edinburgh has embarked on an 'alternative business models' programme.  It is an acceptance that the council can no longer deliver services in the same way if it is to make the necessary savings. 

In effect it is an opportunity to look at different ways of delivering public services.   The Council administration puts it this way:
The Council is looking at two options: remodelling the services we provide and exploring partnerships or joint ventures with external organisation.
Some would say that the second of these options is just a cuddly collection of words meaning privatisation or competitive tendering. Broadly speaking, such people would be right - though the 'competitive dialogue' method of tendering is a painfully long drawn out process.  Here is where we are in the process.
  • Outline plans are due on 25 October from both the internal and the external teams proposing how savings can be made and services delivered in the future. These plans will be compared in November to identify if any should be investigated further
  • Evaluation panels made up of senior officers will make the initial assessment of the external plans.  Each of the plans will be scored and strengths, weaknesses, risks and issues will be considered. At the same time the central management team will review the deliverability of the internal improvement plans.
  • Councillors will decide on the way forward in principle at a meeting on Dec 16th.
  • If  services are to be tendered out shortlisting and further negotiations will begin in January.
Some of the original plan can be found here.

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