Procurement and outsourced services

Procurement processes can be a very effective means to encourage innovation if they are designed and implemented with that aim in mind. They should focus on reducing the prescriptiveness of requests, and on identifying and clarifying the problem or the need to be addressed. This approach may include investigating the use of innovation markets or tools such as competitions for difficult problems.

It may also be worth agencies investigating how to allow flexibility and room for innovation for providers of services on the agency’s behalf. This can be as simple as asking potential service providers whether there is anything in the current approach that stops them from being innovative.