Magazine article Public Finance

Bureaucracy 'Holding Up Big Society'

Magazine article Public Finance

Bureaucracy 'Holding Up Big Society'

Article excerpt

A pioneer of the free school movement accused the government of breaking faith with the Big Society idea by putting bureaucratic obstacles in its path.

Journalist Toby Young said ministers last year appeared to believe in a 'postbureaucratic age', in which free schools and other Big Society projects would be left to succeed or fail without interference. But now ministers feared they would be held accountable for any failures and so had imposed restraints.

Young, who is setting up a free school in west London, said: 'The problems are bureaucratic inflexibility, bureaucratic impenetrability and ministerial risk aversion.' He said his project had tried to partner with the private sector but had been thwarted by public procurement rules. 'The solution would be for the Department for Education to have a framework contract to allow projects to partner with other providers,' he said. …

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