Professor Gary L. Sturgess ‘Just Another Paperclip?’ report published

13 Apr 2017

The BSA today publishes the ‘Just Another Paperclip?’ report by Professor Gary L. Sturgess. Speaking on the report’s publication, BSA Chief Executive Mark Fox said:

“I welcome this report by Professor Gary Sturgess and thank him for the time and work he has put in to producing it. Gary has a long and distinguished career in this area as a practitioner, thinker, and analyst in this space here in the UK and in many countries around the world.

It is sometime since an in depth look at public procurement and markets was conducted and this report is a timely contribution to the ongoing discussion in this area. It is an independent report and it contains interesting comments and suggestions which will challenge all those involved in the procurement and delivery of public services and projects.

It is not a statement of the position or the views of the Business Services Association and its members – and is all the more interesting for it being independent of a ‘corporate’ position.

Since 2015 much work has been done to improve the relationship between government and those who seek to partner with it in the delivery of services and projects. This though is an ongoing learning experience for all those involved. It is a continual process of improvement and building on what has been learned.

In any relationship that involves government it is of course the government that is the dominant partner. It is the government that sets the rules, devises the procurement process, makes the decisions, moulds the shape of the market, and awards the contracts. This is as it should be because it is the government, through Ministers, which is accountable to Parliament, and through Parliament to the taxpayer and the voter. Public services and projects are delivered in the public arena, which is what essentially distinguishes them from business-to-business service and project delivery.

Delivering public services and projects is a complicated and challenging endeavour. There are never easy solutions and there are many examples of good partnering and project delivery. There are, of course, examples where lessons need to be learned. This is the responsibility of all those involved, to embrace those lessons, and move forward in a constructive and co-operative spirit.”

To read the report in full, please click here.

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