Cabinet Office launches Commissioning Academy

After highlighting some of the best resources available on commissioning and procurement last week, it would be silly not to mention the new Commissioning Academy, launched by the Cabinet Office at the end of last week.

The Commissioning Academy will:

bring commissioners from different parts of the public sector together to learn from the example of the most successful commissioning organisations. It will develop a cadre of professionals who are progressive in their outlook on how the public sector uses the resources available.

The programme aims to help commissioners deliver more efficient and effective public services. Success will mean commissioners embracing new and innovative forms of delivery, better outcomes for citizens and better value for money.

A brochure for the Commissioning Academy is here and a framework document, which summarises what commissioning means to the Commissioning Academy, is here.

You can find the Commissioning Academy on Twitter @CommissioningAc.


New consultation principles in practice (updated)

When the government’s new consultation principles were introduced last summer, it was noted that, though potentially good in principle (ironically enough), we’d have to wait for government to use them in practice to see what sorts of effect they would have.

A great post from Mike Harris on the Open Policymaking blog has summarised nicely what’s happened since.

At the time the new principles were announced, a few people called for some analysis on how long consultations lasted for under the new principles compared to the old rules. Mike’s post has an answer:

Between January and July 2012, 56.5% of the 253 government consultations held lasted more than 12 weeks, but between July and December 2012 only 26% of the 207 consultations did so.

Though a headline figure, that strikes me as worrying. It would be useful if more detailed figures were available on how long the 74% of consultations that were under 12 weeks lasted.

(Just because I’m that way inclined, I’ve submitted an FOI request to the Cabinet Office to ask them that exact question – will keep you posted with the results.)

Update: the data was actually in one of the Appendices to the Committee’s report on this topic! I should’ve read the appendices! Here’s the data, which I’ll analyse at a later date.