UNISON has called for a new code of conduct governing private companies that deliver public services, following the collapse of Carillion and profit warnings from Capita.
The union wants firms to abide by a set of principles to ensure the driving force behind services is the public interest, though its preferred option remains in-house provision.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has written to Cabinet Office minister David Lidington calling for a new public service ethos to underpin contracts handed to private firms.
Mr Prentis said: “If the UK is to have decent public services, the country now needs an equivalent set of principles that will apply to any private company that receives taxpayers’ money to deliver public services.
“The government should set about establishing these new principles without delay.
“Ultimately, the primary motivation for the provision of services must be the public interest, not the pursuance of profit.”
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