This chapter examines the regimes of economic contracts governing competition for public services generally, and the quasi-market organisation of particular public service sectors. It focuses on three main relationships in these contracting regimes: purchaser-provider; state-purchaser; and state-provider. The principal concern is with the effectiveness component of responsiveness, and in particular with efficiency. Particular attention is paid to the manner in which the contractual purchaser-provider relationship is conditioned by the hierarchical regulatory relationship between central government and the public purchasing or commissioning agency.
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