Several UK government departments and agencies have long recognized the huge transformational benefits that the private sector can bring along. Involving the private sector through outsourcing contracts as well as through PPP projects has proved largely beneficial for many departments at several stages. The Department of Works & Pensions (DWP) is amongst the few departments that has been at the forefront of private sector involvement in several functional areas over several years. In 2015, a detailed analysis of DWP’s expenditure patterns revealed that the department had been engaging the private sector for several years in multiple functional and support areas including contact centre services, application development, application maintenance, IT helpdesk and other related IT support services.
The UK government in its Spending Review had clearly identified the need for transforming several processes within its departments, the objective being cost curtailment largely through improving operational efficiencies. The private sector can help fix issues with legacy systems and processes, identify loopholes for process re-engineering and develop more efficient ways for several department processes to work. The analysis also captured the recent contracts outsourced by the DWP to the private sector for various services. This assessment, coupled with the understanding of how the government was planning transformational measures within the department, such as replacing the old Work Programme & Work Choice with the new Work & Health Programme, focusing on right-sizing the DWP to become more efficient and spend less on administration while also occupying less government estate etc. helped create a clear picture of DWP’s priorities and possible opportunities within the department for the client to focus on.