PROFESSOR GARY L. STURGESS ‘JUST ANOTHER PAPERCLIP?’ REPORT PUBLISHED
On the 31 March, 2017, the BSA published the ‘Just Another Paperclip?’ report by Professor Gary L. Sturgess. Speaking on the report’s publication, BSA Chief Executive Mark Fox said:
“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.”
To read the report in full, please click here.
COMMERCIAL COUNCILS, COMMERCIAL SKILLS AND PARTNERSHIP WORKING
On 31st January the BSA, in conjunction with Associate Member Trowers & Hamlins, held an event to discuss the culture, ethos and practicalities of running commercial councils. With ongoing constraints on public finances, local councils continue to face significant challenges to the delivery of good quality public services. However recent years have also prompted innovation across England’s local authorities, with councils taking action to partner with the private sector and act in a more ‘commercial’ fashion.
For a detailed write-up of the event please click here
Commenting in response to the Institute for Government’s publication of the Performance Tracker report, BSA Director of Policy, Melanie Maxwell Scott said:
“This important report from the IfG proves government needs to get tough on making transformation happen. The experience in social care shows that unless services are on a sustainable financial footing they could even cease to exist. It’s time to support all those who have the leadership and vision to avert such a crisis – whether they are from the public, private or voluntary sectors. Too often the private sector is brought in to cut costs when really its expertise is in enabling the kind of organisational change that is now needed”.
To read the IFG Performance Tracker report in full, please click here.
BSA SPRING BUDGET SUBMISSION 2017
The BSA offered its Spring Budget submission to the Chancellor ahead of its publication in March. We urge the Government to focus its attention on three areas that will boost productivity and provide the economy with the foundations it needs to succeed in future. These are long-term capital investment in infrastructure, greater digital connectivity through an expansion of full fibre broadband, and investment in education. For the full BSA submission to the Spring Budget, please click here.
BSA RESPONSE TO DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT CONSULTATION
The BSA has published its submission to the government’s green paper consultation on disability, work and health. The BSA welcomes the government’s ambition to halve the disability employment gap and we have outlined what could be effective measures aimed at achieving this.
To read the full submission, please click here
BSA CONTRIBUTES TO CORPORATE GOVERNANCE CONSULTATION
The BSA has published its submission to the government’s green paper consultation on corporate governance reform. The BSA welcomes the government’s ambition to improve trust in business and we have outlined where we believe reform can take place while retaining the UK’s world-leading corporate governance structure.
To read the full submission click here.
FLEXIBILITY KEY FOR APPRENTICESHIP LEVY IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Responding to a consultation from the Northern Ireland government, the BSA called for employers to be able to use apprenticeship levy funding as flexibly as possible, and for a better flow of information between Westminster and devolved governments. To read the full BSA response, please click here.
BSA CALLS ON NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION TO CONDUCT IN-DEPTH SKILLS ANALYSIS
Both the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan for Skills and the recently published Farmer Review present a clear need to boost construction skills. To read the full BSA response, please click here.
BSA SUBMISSION TO INCLUSIVE GROWTH COMMISSION
The BSA makes recommendations to the Inclusive Growth Commission on how to ensure communities across the UK benefit from economic growth. The Commission is chaired by former BBC Economics Editor, Stephanie Flanders and seeks to devise new models for place-based growth, which include the widest range of people. For the full BSA submission, please click here.
FUTURE OF REGIONAL TRANSPORT
On Friday 2nd December the BSA, in partnership with DWF, held the latest in a series of events focused on regional transport. Speakers included Midlands Connect, Transport for Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, IPPR North and BSA members Balfour Beatty. For a detailed write-up of the event, please click here.
IN CONVERSATION: LATEST THOUGHTS ON THE BUSINESS SERVICES SECTOR
In a recent interview with Kevin Anderson of BSA Associate Member, New Street, BSA Chief Executive Mark Fox shared his latest views on the business services sector. The interview covers the impact of Brexit and devolution and how the sector can stay relevant and responsive in such a period of great political uncertainty.
Mark comments: “We need to understand what people are thinking in the communities in which we’re all living and working. We are not just businesses, but people who live and work in these communities. We are quite canny in our sector because we are used to delivering services by just keeping an ear open as to what is going on and responding to it. Why? Because we are very flexible, very adaptable, very robust, and that is what the role of the BSA is; to walk along with the members, staying alert. How can we freshen up what we do? How can we stay in tune with what’s happening?”
The full interview can be found here.
BSA RESPONDS TO SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT ON APPRENTICESHIPS
The focus of the funding must remain on increasing skills in the labour market to reflect those needed by employers. We therefore urge the Scottish Government to use this consultation to work closely with levy-paying organisations to provide information and surety on their plans and to identify areas in which consistency and cooperation across borders would produce better outcomes for apprentices and employers.
The full BSA response can be found here
BSA VIEWS ON FAIR DEAL IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The BSA has responded to the Department for Communities and Local Government consultation on proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations. BSA members welcome the proposals to implement policies on Fair Deal which will create consistency across the public sector pension schemes and promote uniformity in approach by local authorities.
The full BSA response can be found here.
BSA RESPONDS TO THE NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENT
We recommend the Government focuses on the following (click here for the full response):
• Skills – Building a diverse skills base
• Connectivity – So cities can act as economic hubs
• Devolution – Clarifying how combined authorities and local government fit into national planning
• Funding – Improving the flow of investment and building good business cases
• Technology – Innovations in construction, skills, and how people interact with infrastructure
BSA ATTEND DAVID DAVIS ROUNDTABLE WITH BUSINESS LEADERS
On 27 October, 2016, the Secretary of State chaired a meeting alongside ministers Robin Walker and Lord Bridges, engaging with business and industry stakeholders to ensure their views and experience help to inform the UK’s negotiation strategy.
Among the topics of discussion were the terms of trade for services once the UK has left the EU, the movement of skilled workers and opportunities to increase the sector’s global competitiveness in future.
The Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis said:
“The government is committed to making sure that the UK remains the best place in Europe to run and grow a business, and having a strong professional services sector is key to doing that.
As well as challenges to overcome there will be numerous opportunities to seize as we leave the European Union. Capitalising on the expertise of industries that service British businesses is crucial as we approach our negotiations and by working together I am confident we will get a deal that protects and promotes enterprise in the UK.”
Chief Executive, Business Services Association, Mark Fox said:
“Our industry is one of the most productive in the UK and we will continue to support businesses and encourage investment in Britain throughout the Brexit process.
Today’s discussions were a productive step in our continued positive engagement with government. We will continue to work with DExEU to ensure that businesses who have come to rely on the UK for important services continue to do so going forward.
By engaging with business leaders and key stakeholders both through roundtables and regional visits, the government is building a national consensus on the approach to the negotiations and and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.”