Government has commissioned many public services from commercial, charity or other public sector organisations as a way to meet the growing need for services, especially when budgets are getting smaller. This commissioning is happening in many sectors – especially health, local government, welfare, education, culture, media and sport, defence and justice. Successful commissions can result in more productive and efficient service delivery.
The growth in commissioning over recent years has created complex and long-term relationships. To ensure value for money, those organisations that are commissioning services must be clear about what they want to be delivered, they should have an open mind about solutions, be able to evaluate effectively and work well with the organisations delivering the service to ensure users' needs are met. They also need to know when and how to decommission services if they are no longer needed, or if needs, technology or approaches change.