NPM often reflected in the delivery of public services

NPM is said to have had an influence on the introduction of
Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT). CCT was one of the privatisation
measured introduced by the Conservative government which was aimed at managing
the inflationary pressures of the public sector and the political power of the
public sector unions (Walsh, 1995).The use of competitive tendering by British
local authorities for the provision of goods and services has a long history,
but compulsory competitive tendering for the provision of local government services
was first introduced in the 1980 then extended through the 1990s. Central to the implementation of CCT was
the introduction of a client/contractor division in the management of services
whereby the client had the responsibility for the developing the service
specification, inviting tenders from both the in-house contractor and private
sector contractors, awarding the contract to the tender offering the most value
for money, and subsequently monitoring contract performance. The winning
contractor had the responsibility for delivering the service to the contract
specification at the agreed contract price. CCT initially helped local
authorities to drive down costs of public service provision and maximise
operating efficiency, however, CCT was criticised for achieving the goals of
efficiency and economy at the expense of service quality (DETR, 1998).
Furthermore, the compulsion element in competitive tendering created a hostile
environment between the public and private sectors which is often reflected in
the delivery of public services and deprives them of significant elements such
as quality and innovation (Bovis, 1999). Whilst there were initially high hopes
for CCT, it ultimately fell short of the envisaged expectations and attracted
widespread dissatisfaction from both the private and public sectors. CCT became
an excuse for the poor quality of services delivered by local authorities and
was deemed responsible for alienating local government from the public.

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