Quote of the week
“The majority of public servants are dedicated and hard-working, with a deep seated public service ethos.”
— Rt. Hon Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office
The U.K. has released its Civil Service Reform Plan, and anyone interested in public sector reform should give it a read.
The government’s vision for the organization, as stated by Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the Civil Service, is for an organization that is “more open and flexible,” more focused, does less and does it better. It will be “open and fast moving,” working differently, with an emphasis on collaboration and working with “other organizations and businesses that foster innovation and trust, internationally, nationally and locally.”
The report notes that the size of the future civil service will depend on the needs of the government. There is a commitment not to do another cull based on arbitrary targets, but a warning that new ways of doing business could lead by 2015 to a workforce that is 23 percent smaller than it was in 2010.
The ways proposed for improving service delivery and policy are not new to those have been following discussions in Canada and elsewhere about the future of the public service.
On the first front, new delivery models, shared services and increased use of technology are on the agenda.
On the second, “open policymaking will become the default” based on the premise that “Whitehall does not have a monopoly on policymaking expertise.”
There is much more, including steps to change the culture of the civil service (less cautious and more focused on outcomes) and improve performance.
Finally, in a way that can only be described as clear and business-like, the government outlines the specific actions on each front that will be taken.
You can read the report at http://resources.civilservice.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Civil-Service-Reform-Plan-acc-final.pdf