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The failure of test and trace shows the folly of handing huge contracts to private giants | Richard Brooks

Outsourcing is costing the UK public purse billions – and ruining the state’s ability to function * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage The multibillion pound surge in outsourcing of public services during Covid-19 has attracted many headlines, but it is not just a public spending scandal. It is a vivid demonstration of our government’s inability to perform the essential roles society asks of it. Furthermore, this dependency on outsourcing to profit-driven companies undermines any promise to “build back better”. After drastic public health services cuts over the past decade – coupled with extensive outsourcing of procurement to commercial logistics companies – a stripped-down health service was under-resourced for the challenge of a pandemic. The only feasible response was what is increasingly the default choice across government: outsource the work required. Covid-19 has prompted a gold rush for government contracts not seen since the heady days of New Labour’s private finance initiative. Continue reading...

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