A new Audit Commission report published today assesses progress in improving data quality – especially performance data – in the NHS. It reports on-going problems with embedding a culture of good data quality into NHS organisations.
Big is Beautiful in “Local” Government?
This week 43 English local government bodies were merged into just nine much larger local governments. Whilst most commentators have concentrated on the implications for local democracy, which are important, they have missed the bigger picture.
The Spirit Level – Wilkinson and Pickett
A new book has been causing a bit of a stir in policy circles in the UK – ‘The Spirit Level’ is not another diatribe for or against God, as the name might suggest, but a book about equality.
The Art of Public Strategy – Geoff Mulgan
Geoff Mulgan’s new book on ‘The Art of Public Strategy’ is an riveting read, fizzing with insights and ideas. Mulgan played a big role in the Blair government, as a policy adviser and Head of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. He also has a strong history as a think-tanker and author, so his writing is […]
Blew the Light Touch Paper
in Public Finance today…
HMRC – Efficiency or ‘Stealth Cuts’?
In the ‘2004 Spending Review: final report on the efficiency programme’ (published Nov last year) the government claimed that the Chancellor’s departments – including the mammoth HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had allegedly ‘saved’ £680m (against a target of £550m) and cut 16,000 jobs (mostly from HMRC). This might sound quite impressive, until you look […]
HM Treasury and “Efficiency”
To London yesterday (25 Mar 09) to brief the sub-committee of the Treasury Select Committee which is carrying out an enquiry into efficiency of HM Treasury and its departments, including the mammoth HM Revenue and Customs. It was great session with most of the members giving up an hour of their valuable time and a […]
Smile, We’re All Doomed – as usual. The UK Economic Pessimism Index
The most recent poll by Ipsos-MORI shows a slight narrowing of the gap between the Tories and Labour, but still gives the Tories a 10-point lead (see here). More worrying for the Tory opposition, and a bit more pleasing for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, should be the figures on people’s attitudes to the economy.
The Invisible Hand’s Shadow
The shadow economy as an issue for public policy and public administration is something I have been banging on about for several years (see A False Economy, Public Finance, 2004). I recently tried to raise the issue at both the Treasury and Public Administration select committees. So I was pleased to see a fascinating paper by Sean […]
A ‘light touch’ in the public sector is highly unlikely now.
‘Light-touch regulation’ was very fashionable for the private sector until recently – after the banking debacle it is rapidly going out of fashion. Meanwhile the government maintains in the recent White Paper ‘Working Together‘ this is its’ policy aim for the public sector – is this situation viable? Not likely…. read the full article in Public […]