Successful commissioning means delivering the right outcomes at the right cost. Compare that with our definition of good value for money: ‘the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes’. Successful commissioning is, almost by definition, good value for money.
‘Successful Commissioning’ aims to help local commissioners in the public sector get better value for money from civil society organisations (CSOs). It also aims to help civil society organisations become more informed about the commissioning process, and about what they should expect from financial relationships with the public sector. Where CSOs can help deliver value for money then commissioners should make the best possible use of them.
Rather than telling commissioners how to do commissioning, our guidance focuses on those aspects of the process that are most likely to affect financial relationships with civil society organisations. We look at how commissioners can help the third sector to deliver services and outcomes that represent value for money. The guidance aims to:
This guidance is by the National Audit Office and is endorsed by the Audit Commission, the Commission for the Compact, the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Department of Health, HM Treasury, the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, and the Office of the Third Sector.
To view videos of the guide’s supporters, and a panel discussing the issues around commissioning from civil society organisations, then visit our Successful Commissioning launch pages.
This guide was expanded in June 2011, to include practical guidance on ‘decommissioning’ i.e. where a service or a relationship with a service provider is ended. Decommissioning is a natural part of the commissioning process and it is just as important to plan for and manage this while maintaining value for money.
If you have a question, comment or suggestion to make about ‘Successful Commissioning’ or ‘Decommissioning’, or if you wish to suggest a practical example or case study, please email us at: email@example.com .
If you have a question or comment to make about the NAO’s wider work on civil society issues, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.