Written in collaboration with KPMG and MAXIMUS Canada, Unlocking the Public Service Economy argues that the Government of Ontario must adopt alternative service delivery (ASD) models in order to sustain the province’s public services.
ASD is the process of public sector restructuring whereby governments partner with the private and/or not-for-profit sectors in the delivery of public services. In ASD arrangements, governments typically retain responsibility for strategy, policy, and compliance, while leveraging third-party know-how, processes, capital, and technology.
The report argues that Ontario is a laggard in adopting ASD models. Other countries like the UK, US, and Australia, have made greater use of alternative service delivery as a way to improve service quality and lower costs.
The areas most suitable for service transformation in Ontario are ‘complex’ areas of service delivery, such as health care billing, issuing drivers’ licenses, and outpatient medical procedures. The cost-savings that arise from complex service transformation stem from the injection of private sector capital and expertise in service delivery, and not lower labour costs.
The report provides advice to government on how to commission and partner with third-parties in the delivery of services in the public and broader public sectors. Successful ASD requires government to build new expertise and capacity and to adopt new approaches to procurement, risk management, and labour relations.
As a first step, the reports calls on the Ontario Government to conduct a government wide services-audit to identify and evaluate suitable opportunities for the application of alternative service delivery models.