The report said there should be no boundaries to public private partnerships but called for reforms in the way they work and better protection of staff transferred from the public to the private sector.
It demanded: ‘The national audit office should have statutory powers to access information on private providers relating to public contracts above a certain size.’
The reforms the IPPR suggested included private and voluntary providers accepting that higher standards of disclosure and transparency apply in the public service sector than in the rest of the economy. It also said that performance data on services provided through partnerships should always be publicly available.
The report said: ‘The involvement of private and voluntary providers in public services need not and should not lead to a dilution of public accountability.’
This mean’s the IPPR’s influence is not behind the ongoing campaign to make the NAO the body which audits or supervised the audits of PFI and PPP arrangements, at least to a degree.
The Treasury has so far resisted calls to allow the NAO access to commercial bodies.
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