Calls for evidence

From time to time, in order to gain a richer understanding of the challenges faced by local government senior managers on the ground and to ensure that our consultation responses and original research reflect the expertise of our members, Solace issues calls for members’ views on particular policy issues and asks groups of members to complete short surveys. On this page you can access details of views presently sought and currently open surveys.


A Call for Experience from SOLACE’s Innovation and Commissioning Policy Network - CLOSED

Engaging with citizens to lead change from the 'outside in' is one of the Network's five priorities. What's your experience of working closely with citizens, communities and partners to drive transformation? How have you used this to encourage innovation and what have been the outcomes? Whether your experience has been positive, negative or inconclusive, you can help by contributing your thoughts and ideas or offering to act as a case study.

The phrase 'outside-in commissioning’ was used by our Network's Spokesperson, Max Wide, to sum up the need to ensure that it is the public's interests and ideas that are driving the process of service change and commissioning, rather than just the providers'. In their recent article for the MJ, Max and Sandy Hopkins argued that public engagement in the commissioning process, if done well: "Leads to change not from the top down or indeed from the bottom up – but from the outside in." Given the challenge of delivering the right outcomes with diminishing resources, the need to take people on 'the journey' with you becomes all the more important.

The new Solace Innovation and Commissioning Policy Network, supported by its research partner, Activist Group, will be exploring how such engagement is best achieved and will produce a policy report in time for this October's SOLACE Annual Summit that includes guidance on how to generate 'outside-in' thinking and case studies that demonstrate what can be achieved.

As part of the research for the report, we need your help. Let us have your experience and ideas. If you think you might have a good case study, let us know - we'll just need some of your time to help us write it up. We're particularly interested in hearing from you about:

1.    What has been your approach to outside-in service change and commissioning? What were your overall ambitions and how far did you get?

2.    Have you any successful examples of engagement and co-creation with citizens, communities, other stakeholders and delivery partners?

3.    How has your organisation built capacity within communities as part of commissioning or service transformation exercises and how have you gone about increasing self-reliance?

4.    Which techniques have you found work best in generating community and citizen engagement? Which ones don't?

5.    What part has strong political leadership played in successful outside-in service redesign and commissioning?

Please respond by email to Helen via


Code of Ethics for Local Public Services Senior Managers - CLOSED

The professional bodies of senior managers across local public services have come together to develop a code of ethics for their members. The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace) is working with a number of other organisations to develop the code. The code will be an overarching statement of ethics, based upon behaviours and therefore focus on the individual, as opposed to group or organisational culture. It is intended to be applicable to all those who hold senior management roles in local public services led by locally elected politicians. Click here to access the covering document.

Written evidence is requested by Friday 5th June. The group intends to publish an initial analysis of the responses in July, with a view to launching a new code in October. Responses should be sent to:


Delivering Good Governance in Local Government: Framework CLOSED 

To assist in developing authorities’ approach to good governance, CIPFA/SOLACE issued Delivering Good Governance in Local Government: Framework and accompanying guidance note in 2007, followed by an Addendum published in 2012 with additional guidance. We are reviewing the Framework in 2015 to ensure that it remains ‘fit for purpose’. We will also be developing a revised guidance note. The purpose of this consultation is to see how the Framework and guidance have been working in practice and to see where further clarification or guidance is required. The aim is to publish an updated Framework and guidance in late 2015. To find out more, read the the Call for Evidence. The consultation and details on how to respond can be found here. Responses to this consultation should be returned by Monday 16th March 2015. If you have any questions, please contact


Increasing SME Procurement CLOSED

The Solace Commissioning and Sourcing Network has recently met again with the Cabinet Office to discuss their proposals for improving SME access to public sector contracts. Alongside earlier plans, which are progressing with some concessions, they are now also looking to introduce further proposals before the end of this Parliament. As part of our ongoing dialogue with the Cabinet Office, Solace has again been invited to respond with our comments. As such, we are putting out another Call for Evidence for members to contribute their thoughts and make their opinions heard. Please respond by email to by close of play Friday 5th September.


Payment by Results - CLOSED

We would like to draw on Solace Members’ experiences and views for our research on Payment by Results which is being led by the Solace Commissioning & Sourcing Policy Network in partnership with CIPFA and supported by Activist Group. What has been your experience of using payment by results techniques in your authority? Do you have a potential case study? To find out more, see the call for evidence. Responses can be summited to Henry via by Friday 21st February.