cherry picking

The 6th Commandment of Payment by Results: Profit shall not be thy God

One of the most controversial aspects of payment by results in the UK has been the way the funding model has been used to outsource public services and open the market up to private providers, typically the sort of global companies who deliver the Work Programme. Many people are opposed in principle to the idea of public services generating profit for multinationals. On the other side of the argument are those that see the introduction of business sense and commercial acumen as a key way of reducing cost and driving innovation. But is financial profit the only measure of success?

1st Commandment of Payment by Results: Thou shalt commission for a single purpose

1st Commandment of Payment by Results: Thou shalt commission for a single purpose. PbR schemes are often sabotaged by trying to achieve too many objectives. The Transforming Rehabilitation project is likely to suffer because it wants to reduce reoffending at the same time as cutting costs, transferring risk and privatising the probation service.

What can organisations do to effectively manage payment by results contract risk?

00000This is the second in a short series of posts by Richard Butler and his colleague Holger Westphely from Aylesbury Partnerships on managing risk in payment by results contracts. Managing PbR contract risk  In our last post our focus was the importance of getting to grips with risk, here we start to look at what organisations need to do to effectively manage PbR risk. The risks we focus on are those affecting the financial health of delivery …

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No Parking. Tackling one of payment by results biggest challenges

00000Like a wolf on the fold Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has made it very clear that payment by results is going to come down on the criminal justice system like Lord Byron’s Assyrian wolf on the fold.     He has suspended the PbR pilots and all the signs are that he intends to go straight to full roll out. Mr Grayling has come from the Department of Work and Pensions whose Work Programme is …

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PbR Principles – getting your reward structure right

00000This is the third in a series of posts about the five principles of PbR commissioning set out in a recent Audit Commission report. Principle 3: A well-designed payment and reward structure The Audit Commission helpfully encourages commissioners to consider a wide range of PbR reward structures with an emphasis on schemes where only some of the funding is dependent on results. It points out that many small providers are unlikely to be to carry the …

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Arrested development: Why individual PbR will not work

000 Saturday’s newspapers sent shockwaves through all ranks of police officers who are waiting for Tom Winsor’s review of pay and conditions to be published. The Telegraph announced: “Police could be given performance-related pay for first time” While the Star went with: “Cops collar cash” It’s not sure how much credence we should give to these reports, but the Telegraph and Star do make substantially similar claims: “cash incentives for high-performing police officers who can …

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PbR Freakonomics or Prison-Probation Collaboretition

00000The authors of Freakonomics keep me consistently entertained with their books and Blog posts about the way people, in all walks of life, respond to incentives – commonly in unpredictable ways, frequently with unintended consequences. Their latest book, SuperFreakonomics, covers everything from why drunk walking is more dangerous than drunk driving to why suicide bombers should buy life insurance and I recommend it unreservedly for an entertaining, and thought-provoking read. I’m particularly drawn to these …

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A ticking bomb: how binary outcomes can derail PbR

00000A ticking bomb “We only call him the Exploding Boy now, of course; retrospectively. For most of last year he was known only as Ticking Boy.” That is the first line from a new short story by @nickparker from a collection that got a rave review in Saturday’s Guardian. It made me think about the bomb ticking away ready to blow up the ever-growing range of payment by results schemes (details here) being developed by different …

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Commissioning a better future

00000The last 20 years have seen an increased focus on the importance of modernising public services. It was a strong characteristic of the Blair years, and Coalition Government ministers in most departments are currently working hard to open up the statutory sector to private enterprise. One of the reasons that this government is promoting payment by results is that, in addition to the fact that PbR schemes transfer financial risk away from the Exchequer, politicians think that initiatives …

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PbR – a healthy proposition?

00000Last week I posted apoll to try to gauge attitudes to payment by results by those sufficiently interested in the subject to read this Blog. For reasons that I go into in a comment on that post, the poll bombed. Most people either weren’t interested or were very wary about voicing an opinion, even in an anonymised format. I offered five possible answers to the poll question ‘What do you think of PbR?’: A great opportunity …

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