Reforming public services in the UK: Bringing in the third sector

Josie Kelly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the UK, the government continues its project to reform public services. Earlier projects have focused on the modernization of public sector organizations; in the latest round of reform, New Labour has focused on widening choice and the personalization of services. To this end, the government has been working with Third Sector (TS) organizations to expand their role in shaping, commissioning and delivering public services. The government's vision is predicated on a normative assertion, that, unlike traditional public sector organizations, TS bodies create public value by being more innovative, are inspired by altruistic aims and values, and have greater commitment to their clients. This paper reviews recent policy and questions whether the government's policy is flawed, contradictory and risks damaging the attributes of the TS admired by New Labour. © 2007 The Author. Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1022
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number4
Early online date14 Nov 2007
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • UK
  • modernization
  • public sector organizations
  • widening choice
  • personalization
  • services
  • Third Sector


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