Allison Ogden-Newton asks for suggestions on questions for Lord Wei on the Big Society and social enterprise. Here are my top five:

  1. How are Whitehall and local government procurement rules going to be changed to allow coalitions of social enterprises to compete with Serco and PwC on a level playing field? What representations will the Government make to the EU about changes to their public procurement rules currently being considered?
  2. Breaking up big public services into smaller social enterprises might make them more efficient (the jury’s out on that one for me), but it will certainly make them less risk-resilient. How does the Government propose to support risk-taking in social enterprises, to ensure they don’t become stodgier and more risk-averse than the big bureaucracies they replace.
  3. What are the ideal democratic accountability arrangements for a social enterprise delivering services under commission from a local authority, funded by public money?
  4. What are the Government’s ambitions (not targets) for growth of social enterprises above trend in the next five to ten years, and for their geographical and social-class distribution around the country?
  5. Is it OK for a social enterprise founder to earn more than the Prime Minister?
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