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SOLACE Statement on When the Salami’s Gone- the SOLACE Guide to Commissioning and Sourcing

Against the background of the harshest financial climate in over a generation, local politicians, chief executives and senior managers are delivering dramatic financial savings while working to minimise the adverse impact on local communities. To do this, they are not only transforming the way services are delivered, but reinventing the role of local government and its relationship with its citizens.

SOLACE publishes "When the Salami's Gone", the SOLACE Guide to Commissioning and Sourcing.

Key to these changes are commissioning and sourcing – working with communities to identify how to meet priority needs within the resources available and putting in place the most cost-effective service delivery models.

"When the Salami's Gone", by Eric Bohl of Activist Group, provides an insider's view into what commissioning and sourcing mean to local authorities. It sets out to demystify what is still a developing field; takes a hard and dispassionate look at current trends; and provides advice on the ingredients of success.

To many, commissioning is the solution to the problem: there will be a new conception of the boundary between citizen and state; needs will be redefined and new pathways for services designed; and cheaper service delivery mechanisms will be procured from a market rich with creative providers. To others, commissioning is old wine in new bottles, an over-elaborate sideshow - or even a neoliberal conspiracy.

Commissioning is indeed a blend of old wines in new bottles, but the question is whether they are individually and collectively worthwhile. The Guide begins by examining the key concepts within commissioning. The Guide also explores the strengths and weaknesses of different sourcing models that need to be considered within a sourcing strategy. The option appraisal and decision-making processes are explored before considering key implementation issues. More importantly, the Guide draws on case studies and the experience of experts and practitioners - in their own words

An electronic copy of the Guide is available free of charge.

The Guide has been sponsored by BT and Civica.

The author, Eric Bohl, is Director of Public Services at Activist Group. Now an adviser to clients in local and central government, he had over twenty years' experience in local government, including over ten years at board level.

The Guide was developed with the support of an editorial board made up of SOLACE members.


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