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AccountabilityA Public Law Analysis of Government by Contract$
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Anne Davies

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299486

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299486.001.0001

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Winning Out: Making the Accountability Process Effective

Winning Out: Making the Accountability Process Effective

(p.163) 8 Winning Out: Making the Accountability Process Effective

A. C. L. Davies

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the enforcement of NHS contracts. It asks whether purchasers were in a position to render the contractual accountability process effective, by setting the standards of their choice and ensuring that the provider complied with them. The first part of the chapter examines the weak positions of purchasers in setting the standards that they required. The data shows that purchasers struggled to enforce the requirements due to a number of factors, such as the weakness of competitive market pressures in the NHS context, and the difficulty of gaining access to third party enforcement in the form of arbitration. The second part of the chapter suggests some possible generalizations from the NHS data, and topics for further research. The chapter concludes that in the absence of a competitive market, purchasers and providers should have access to a dispute resolution mechanism so that they can attach a greater sense of obligation to their contracts.

Keywords:   third party enforcement, arbitration, obligation, competitive market pressures, NHS, further research

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