A good practice guide for senior leaders

Central government departments alone are expected to spend £456 billion on the day-to-day running of public services, grants and administration in 2020-21. Improving operational delivery is crucial to ensuring that taxpayers’ money is spent as efficiently as possible. The National Audit Office’s (NAO) guide will help senior leaders in government departments and wider public services to effectively manage and improve the way public services are delivered.

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Scope of the report

The guide:

  • Shares insights on how to improve performance and priority areas to get right.
  • Suggests practical actions senior leaders can take, and common pitfalls to avoid.
  • Includes recent examples, including good practice, drawing on the NAO’s analysis of government’s operational management capability, which also covers its response to COVID-19.
  • Highlights the specific skills and ways of working needed to translate policy into effective services for end-users.
  • Describes a ‘whole-system’ approach that supports organisations to work together to deliver outcomes they cannot achieve alone.

Read more about our work on people and operational management