Thursday 12 March 2009
Early start today to catch a flight to Inverness to take part in a debate on the future of local authority waste management services in Scotland at the Chartered Institute of Waste Management's conference. The question was whether they should be outsourced or stay inhouse?
Upon getting there my first move was to look at the attendance list and it appeared a bit ominous with 50 of the 75 or so delegates being from the private sector. I was first up on the debate and gave ten minutes on why all the tangible evidence demonstrates that inhouse services are more guaranteed to deliver excellent services over time. My opponent in the debate, George Neblock, the senior figure for the CIWM in Scotland and former Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council makes the case for outsourcing services. We then spend the next hour or so in debate with the audience before moving to the vote. Much to my surprise, given the audience make up, two thirds of them side with my argument.
Basically I pushed the numerous recent private sector failures in the public sector market, local governments proven track record of delivery, the findings of APSE's insourcing research, the lack of evidence base to support outsourcing and the case for continuous performance improvement. The audience obviously agreed that the case for outsourcing Scotland's Waste Management Services was not proven.