Mark Fox writes…

“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.”

Winston Churchill’s words to the nation at the end of the 1945 war in Europe. For us Christmas has passed and the new year has begun. For those that were able to pause for a moment work now resumes. For many BSA members the work of delivering services and projects continued throughout the holiday period.

The Prime Minister made it his political purpose to deliver Brexit and an accompanying new agreement with the EU. This he has done. The passing of the agreement marks a beginning as well as an end. An end to Britain’s intimate relationship with the EU and the beginning of a close one. Over fifty UK/EU working groups have been established to support the new arrangements. The BSA is involved where appropriate and has already been contributing to these work streams.

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BSA Comment on Labour Plans for Local Government

BSA comment on Labour plans for local government: ‘Labour threatening charities, social enterprises and businesses providing a huge range of services threatens jobs, enterprise and innovation, as well as undermining local democracy is as destructive as it is unwise. It is a direct and ideologically driven attack on the talent and investment business and voluntary sector partners bring to successful service delivery.’

Living wills are coming in FM – embrace them now to get ahead of the game

Until a couple of years ago, the facilities management (FM) industry appeared to be steering a fairly steady course. True, the rising maturity of the FM outsourcing market was starting to create pressure on providers’ growth and costs. But they could count on a ready supply of existing and new customers—both public and private sector—who felt they could buy their services with confidence.

Continue reading “Living wills are coming in FM – embrace them now to get ahead of the game”

BSA Annual Lecture delivered by Rupert Soames O.B.E., Group Chief Executive Officer, Serco

The BSA, in partnership with BSA Associate Members Barclays, held the tenth Annual Lecture. Rupert Soames O.B.E., Group Chief Executive Officer at Serco addressed more than one hundred BSA members, government officials, academics and journalists. The theme was Outsourcing: the Road to Redemption. Continue reading “BSA Annual Lecture delivered by Rupert Soames O.B.E., Group Chief Executive Officer, Serco”

Platform co-creation of public services

By Philip Craig, Government Sector Strategy Director at Sopra Steria

One of the often-quoted benefits of digital transformation is the improvement in the way departments interact with citizens and business by sharing systems and data to streamline services. But the reality often falls short of expectations.

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BSA submits response to Civil Society Strategy consultation

The BSA has published its submission to the government’s consultation on a new civil society strategy. Our response focuses on the importance of partnership working and place-based inclusive growth, and the vital role that business services providers can play in delivering for local areas.

The full submission can be read here.


BSA Comment on Committee on Standards in Public Life report

Commenting on today’s Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) report , the BSA said:

“This is an important report published today by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, highlighting the continuing need to focus on standards and quality in public service provision. There is much for all those involved in public service provision – government, charities, and business – to focus on.”

The report can be viewed here:  


Universities must commercialise to thrive after Brexit

Since the increase in tuition fees in 2010, universities have had to adapt to a rapidly changing funding environment. Greater reliance on fees, which account for over two-thirds of total income at 42% of universities, has left their finances vulnerable to sudden changes in student numbers. Concerns over value for money, along with long-term spending commitments on pensions and infrastructure, also weigh heavily.

To be sustainable after Brexit, universities must prioritise the student experience whilst also finding new ways to maximise efficiencies and diversify revenue. Continue reading “Universities must commercialise to thrive after Brexit”

What’s ahead for the digital wallet?

By Rob Price, Chief Operating Officer, Worldline (Atos e-payment Services), UK and Ireland

When I drive to my local railway station, the station car park recognises my arrival through number plate recognition. I drive straight in, with digital signage telling me how many spaces are free. I walk through the station and get straight on the train. When I return, the car park transaction is quick and easy – contactless card or mobile wallet payment at the kiosk, and the exit barrier lifts as it recognises my number plate.

I like this digitalised experience because it makes things quicker and easier for me.

This is a common theme of the global digital inclusion survey we’ve just completed, which revealed how people feel about digital technologies – including how they pay for things. It’s clear that where the consumer is motivated or incentivised through personal benefit, then there is better adoption. Other than cost savings, the two benefits that stand out for consumers are time saved and improvements to their health. Continue reading “What’s ahead for the digital wallet?”

Light at the end of the financial tunnel?

By Philip Craig, Government Sector Strategy Director at Sopra Steria

In March 2018 the government reached a significant economic milestone. It eliminated the deficit on its day-to-day budget. Tax revenues will exceed public spending. Public sector net debt will fall for the first time since 2001-02. It took eight years rather than five. But the primary target set by government in 2010, as the UK struggled to recover from the financial crisis, had finally been met. Continue reading “Light at the end of the financial tunnel?”

Key Cities partners with the BSA

Key Cities, a collaboration of 20 mid-sized cities across the UK, has agreed a partnership with the Business Services Association (BSA) to deliver a range of initiatives to promote current and future skills development – a key driver of the UK’s economic growth.


AI and Digital Public Services

Often debated in terms of the ‘rise of the robots’ or ‘march of the machines’, the public discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) has largely focused on the impact it may have on the workforce. Less attention has been paid to the possibilities for transforming public services.

Appropriately delivered, AI has the potential to revolutionise how public services are delivered and, in turn, how citizens interact with government.

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