Commissioning intentionsCommissioning intentions. As commissioning grows as a strategic approach to public service reform, how do you convert intent into reality? This is one of our Strategic Solution consultancy reports exploring the critical topic of commissioning intentions. It provides focused commentary on the key issues of strategic issues for public services.

There is little doubt that commissioning is emerging as a major feature of public service reform and development.  Some argue that, given increasing pressure on public services, there is a growing consensus for the need to continue:

“the shift of emphasis from service delivery to commissioning and (to) an open-mindedness about the best ways of securing better outcomes for people and places.”[1]

Understanding and managing this shift of emphasis is no easy thing.

“the conversion of intent into reality is a hard nut for managers and politicians to crack.  This is particularly so when the needs to be addressed require a multi-agency approach “[2]

Overview of the Commissioning Intentions Report

This Strategic Solution consultancy report explores emerging thinking about more integrated and strategic approaches to commissioning.  It is designed to help managers convert commissioning intents into reality.

It addresses:

  • The changing face of public service provision
  • Driver for development
  • Commissioning defined
  • Purchasing, procurement or commissioning?
  • Commissioning cycles
  • Commissioning levels
  • Joint, integrated, and strategic commissioning
  • Outcome-based commissioning
  • Markets – shaping, making and managing
  • Barriers to development

As a concept, commissioning is not new.  However, there are clearly new intentions for commissioning, as expressed by government departments and other influential bodies.  These new commissioning intentions are both ambitious and demanding.  Previously the main focus of commissioning was on money, people, procurement and performance of individual services.  According to the Local Government Association, the future remit will be far broader, with an increasing focus on outcomes which:

“…encompass the whole system of services, the totality of resources, and different ways of achieving improved outcomes.”[1]

[1] Commissioning for better public services. Local Government Association (2012)


[1] Loose talk and a hard nut: commissioning for better outcomes SOLACE Foundation (2007)

[2] Loose talk and a hard nut: commissioning for better outcomes SOLACE Foundation (2007)