About commissioning and procurement wiki
Commissioning and procurement or public service delivery is not suitable for every organisation.
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Income for delivering public services is the sector’s largest source of funding. Think carefully whether public service delivery is the right strategy for you - it will not suit all non profits and there are potential risks and constraints. If you do decide to deliver public services, you will have to learn about commissioning and procurement and you will need to get ready to negotiate and manage legally binding contracts.
What are ‘public services’?
Public services are those which public bodies (such as central or local government) either provide themselves or commission others to provide.
For example, the police service is a public service, but the lifeboat service, which is provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute out of voluntary income, is not. Services, which used to be privately funded, can become public services, as the social and political environment changes. Education is a case in point.
Public services also include social housing or childcare services, which may be funded partly through benefits, such as housing benefit or working family tax credit, which are paid for out of taxes.
What is ‘public service income’?
Public service income means that which the sector secures, directly or indirectly, from public bodies for the provision of particular services on their behalf. Public service income is therefore different from voluntary income (from fundraising) and different from sales income (from people who use services).
Public service income will usually be via an agreement with the public body such as grant or a contract. This will usually determine what the money is to be used for and how success will be measured.