Companies that are owned by, Public Bodies. Some acronyms and a little explanation and context

Blog Post: LATCOs and other POCOs


More acronyms I hear you say! - well, let’s start with a little explanation and unpicking:

LATCO = Local Authority Trading Company - ie a company that is owned by in part or completely by one or many Councils (sometimes also other Public Bodies are involved) and established to deliver aspects of the councils internal or external services and/or also provide those services more generally to other organisations for additional revenue. In short an arms length organisation that can either/both generate profits (some or all of which can go back into the councils coffers) and offer efficiencies/flexibility not possible within a public body shell.

POCO = Public Organisation Company - yep, we made that one up. But listed here to cover all the other companies that have been set up and are owned by Public Bodies of all flavours. From NHS Trusts to Universities, Government Departments and Agencies to Parish Councils.

So stall set out; "so what?" you might say:

Well, in the first place we have been busy trying to identify them - no small feat there I can tell you - a combination of annual reports and companies house data gets you close to a list, but then this needs to be washed through our lovely research team to add meaningful data and - for the purposes of hierarchical simplicity - link to the to their most meaningful parent organisations - fun where there are multiple owners! - the result - at the time of typing - we have identified 1141 LATCOs and a total of over 1600 Public Body owned companies. These are all now in the live database and available on our PSN platform, including types, services, locations and parent organisations.

Also, both individually and collectively these are interesting. Not least because it is a continuation of the divergence of the delivery of services and flow of public funding away from a core of statutory public entities and into an increasingly complex set of organisations with a variety of structures and legal statuses. Not unlike the journey of Social Housing, Care Homes and perhaps more recently Schools.

They are also interesting to Public Bodies as benchmarks and/or trailblazers for the planning, finances and diversification of their own services, they are also very relevant to suppliers, contractors and everyone else involved in the eco-system of public service commissioning and delivery. Not least because they host and manage staff and services that used to be within their parent organisation(s) and therefore for everything from customer relations, stakeholder engagement through collaboration to sales and marketing they are hugely significant.

If you want to talk XXCos and why they might matter to you, just give us a shout.


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