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Public service commissioning: Origins, influences, and characteristics

16 July 2018



Image of two chains connecting with public and sector written on each.


The term “commissioning” has been widely used in recent years in referring to the authorization and funding of public services, particularly in the UK and Australia. In some cases, the term has been used to refer to procurement, while in other cases, it appears to be similar to strategic planning. This article explores public service commissioning by tracing the common uses of the term, its different meanings in different services and jurisdictions, and some of the differences between commissioning and other approaches to managing the policy-delivery interface.

Suggested citation

Sturgess, G. (2018). Public service commissioning: Origins, influences, and characteristics. Policy Design and Practice, 1(3): 155-168, doi 10.1080/25741292.2018.1473100

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Authors: Gary Sturgess
Published Date: 16 July 2018