It used to be the case that 75% or 80% of public money was spent on salaries and wages but for many public bodies that has fallen to 50% or lower. This is because public bodies now do less of their work directly and buy in services from third parties.
Knowing how to procure a service and then manage the service provider is an important set of skills for the modern public sector manager. Modern managers get plenty of training in how to interview job candidates, leading teams, managing employee performance, etc but but in my experience many they rarely receive any training in the equivalent activities for suppliers rather than employees.
To help such managers I wrote a short e-book that explains the principles of public procurement by using the hiring of a consultant as an example. (As far as procurement goes the consultant could be any kind of advisor such as an architect, an IT expert, an interim manager, etc.) The book will take less than an hour to read and yet it includes an explanation of the key steps in the process and has links to additional resources to help with writing your specification (get this wrong and the chances of things going wrong increases dramatically) and managing suppliers.
To get the e-book — did I say it’s free? — click here.