Public service reform has been on the agenda for years. But in the times of plenty, it has lacked the urgency or coherence that today’s fiscal situation demands. This paper argues that a market-based approach to public service delivery is the basis for public service effectiveness and efficiency over the coming decade.
The fitful progress towards greater market-based provision has been piecemeal and lacked a coherent framework to help policymakers to think through the benefits and the pitfalls of different approaches. This paper sets out such a framework to help policymakers navigate the baffling array of commissioning approaches in the delivery of public services to achieve more for less in the lean times ahead.