Scope and Content

The Local Government Act 1988 imposed Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT) on local authorities and other public bodies for 'defined activities' including cleaning, catering, grounds and vehicle maintenance. As a result in Oxfordshire a number of Direct Labour or Service Organisations (DLO and DSO) were created to enable in-house staff to compete with private contractors for tenders in these areas. In order to improve business efficiency and minimise conflicts of interest the Council decided to move the DLO and DSOs from their "client" departments into a newly-created Commercial Services department. The Council also created a Commercial Services Subcommittee (first meeting 8 March 1991). The role of the Commercial Services Department and Subcommittee was to promote the business interests of the DLO and DSOs in contrast to the interests of the client departments which were promoted by its opposite number, the Contract Services (from 1993, Operations) Subcommittee (see CC2/2/A18 and CC2/4/A12). Both subcommittees however reported to the Policy and Resources (from 1993, Strategy and Resources) Committeee and the Council as a whole.