The New Government

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    Henry Brown

    Primary Audience is Great Britain but IMO has more than a passing relevance to MOST government(s) especially with the international economic issues…

    Publisher: The Work Foundation:

    Title:Making the most of public services A systems approach to public innovation
    Author: Charles Levy
    Date: May 2011

    Executive Summary

    While our economy is showing tentative signs of recovery, the public sector is facing almost unprecedented challenges. An innovation miracle is being demanded from the centre – services are facing a triple lock of shrinking public spending, expanding service demands and a broad reform agenda. Looking at two case studies – international higher education and the NHS – this paper highlights that the government is struggling to understand how to support innovation within public services, and that this will impact on the future performance of both public and private sectors.

    The 2010 Spending Review has confirmed public spending cuts of £81bn by 2014/15. Public sector employment is now predicted to fall by 310,000 over this period.1 Pressures from an ageing population and other broad social characteristics of change, such as shifting identities and rising citizen expectations, are placing greater needs on public services just as resources to meet these are being withdrawn. Complicating the picture further still, the government is planning broad changes in the ways in which the public sector relates to the private.

    The government is committed to better leverage its credit rating and scale to pool large contracts in order to drive down prices. It is however, also keen to award more contracts to small and medium sized enterprises. Perhaps of greatest significance however is the ambition to open all public services (save the judiciary and security services) to private competition – with a view to drive innovation through increased marketisation. Changes on this scale will demand careful management, and more often than not, additional resources to aid transitions. Unfortunately these changes will be implemented at a time of massive upheaval in the public sector.


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