Delay for details on outsourcing

Further details on government plans to open up local planning services so there is more competition between providers will not be published until 2012, the Cabinet Office says.

An implementation plan for the government's public services white paper, which included proposals to outsource services including planning, was scheduled to be published in November.

The white paper, published in July, set out a commissioning-based approach to council services including planning. But it said practical details would be fleshed out in the implementation plan (Planning, 15 July, p5).

In the paper, the coalition pledged that it would consult with the wider public sector on how to go further in opening up "locally commissioned" planning services to competition.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said work on the plan is taking longer than expected. "The aim is to get it out as soon as we can, but more importantly to get it out when it's ready," he said.

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