The UK public sector has the most mature outsourcing market in the world, with a sophisticated approach of transforming services rather than just cutting costs, according to a new study by Accenture.
Outsourcing by governments is a growing trend, with nearly 90 per cent of government executives outsourcing activities key to delivering public servicess, the management consultancy said.
The report, Outsourcing in Government: Pathways to Value, looked at outsourcing by 23 governments across Asia, Europe and North and South America. It found that the 'transformational' outsourcing model adopted by the UK achieved the best results.
Satisfaction was highest (around 70 per cent) among executives who chose outsourcing to achieve goals such as standardising operations or to gain expertise or access to new technology.
Only 50 per cent who embraced the model to reduce costs, and 24 per cent who chose outsourcing to increase revenues, "mostly or fully" met their objectives.
Peter Holmes, head of Accenture's UK Government Practice, said in a statement: "As governments become more experienced with outsourcing, they seek new ways to derive greater value from these arrangements and are therefore more inclined to outsource processes such as procurement, finance and accounting, and human resources, which were previously considered too critical to outsource."
Even allowing for several high-profile government outsourcing failures, Richard Holway, director of analyst Ovum Holway, was not surprised that the UK headed the league.
"Despite failures you can still be top. With Thatcher, Labour and private finance initiative projects in the UK, the whole atmosphere is about outsourcing," he said.
"Most western countries are further back down the track, but they are running as fast as they can to follow us."
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