Local service delivery
Posted on October 10, 2017 by Sandy Gordon
Major programmes are expensive, high profile and carry great uncertainties and risks. For most government bodies, undertaking a major programme will involve doing something new, with relatively little organisational experience. Many fall short of their objectives, in terms of cost and/or outcomes. So it’s not surprising that they are the focus of many NAO reports – about 100 since 2010. Our new Framework to review programmes shows the questions we typically ask, and brings together many of our recent findings. We hope it will show what we are looking for and what we expect to see when we examine major programmes. more… A systematic look at major programmes
Posted on August 18, 2017 by Jacob Holliday
High profile incidents remind individuals and organisations just how important it is to manage potential conflicts of interest. In March 2017, the Court of the Bank of England commissioned a review of the institution’s approach to managing conflicts of interest. The review was prompted by the resignation of Charlotte Hogg who had been Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking. A report from the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee published in March 2017 had raised concerns about her compliance with the Bank’s rules governing conflicts of interest. As part of its Review the Bank invited the NAO to contribute a briefing paper on managing conflicts of interest. It’s a timely opportunity for the whole public sector to consider whether it’s managing conflicts of interest effectively. more… Managing conflicts of interest and keeping public trust
Tagged with: Accountability Business operations Conflict of interest Contract management Cross-government Employee engagement Good practice principles International Investigations Local government Regulation & consumer protection Reporting Risk management
Posted on July 7, 2017 by Lee Summerfield
MPs have queried the way grants are distributed; multiple programme changes have left many questioning aims and effectiveness; growing backlogs have raised issues about public service delivery; and failed contracts losing millions of pounds have implied serious mismanagement. Concerns raised by MPs, members of the public and our own staff as a result of their work often need the facts set out – clearly and quickly. They call for an NAO ‘Investigation’. more… NAO Investigates
Posted on March 6, 2017 by Amyas Morse
I was privileged to speak to The Strand Group at King’s College London in early February on some of the elements needed for government to successfully implement major change programmes in complex, interconnected systems. The examples on which I focused were local, adult social care and NHS services in light of devolution, fiscal restraint and Brexit. After my talk, I was asked many interesting questions, some of which I would like to explore in more detail in this post. [See here for the video and transcript.] more… A flexible, engaged approach to efficient public services
Posted on January 23, 2017 by Charles Nancarrow
Scams, unfair trading, e-crime, unsafe goods – these harmed consumers to the tune of £14.8 billion in 2014-15. And that’s just the estimate of the problems tackled by consumer protection bodies; you may not even be aware of times you’ve been a victim of unfair trading. With poor consumer awareness and threats to consumers becoming increasingly complex and wide-ranging we, the Regulation, Consumers and Competition team, recently published a report. We describe here the types of consumer detriment, who’s responsible for protecting consumers, and what all this means for consumers. more… Do you feel protected as a consumer?
Posted on January 6, 2017 by Sarah Perryman
Management theory is full of good advice, but how should it be put into practice? How can we harness the lessons gleaned from across government and adapt them to the delivery of a specific service? I’ve applied the principles set out in our good practice guide, Managing business operations, to child protection services. Drawing on our recent report, I’ve looked at what’s happening in practice, where there’s good practice be shared and how the centre is taking a lead. Using our identified four characteristics of success, I’ve set out questions professionals should be asking themselves to help improve services. more… Putting children first: Making theory work in practice
Tagged with: Accountability Business operations Children Cross-government Customer service Good practice principles Information management Leadership Local government Police Process management Risk management Young people
Posted on December 16, 2016 by Mathew Power
Care leavers happy with their accommodation, aware of their entitlements, feeling they have access to education or employment and that they’re listened to and helped to achieve their aims and aspirations. This is not just a vision of success, it’s the finding of Ofsted’s review of Trafford’s services. However, Trafford is one of only three local authorities out of 103 inspected and judged to be ‘outstanding’. Why? Often the answer can be found by consulting care leavers themselves. more… Care leavers: engaging for solutions
Posted on November 22, 2016 by Charles Nancarrow
What do energy suppliers, railways, doctors and rubbish collectors have in common? The answer: they, and many others, deliver essential services that involve, to a greater or lesser extent, a ‘market mechanism’. In a world with a wide range of public service delivery mechanisms, including direct service provision (the military, tax collectors, police, NHS A&E services etc.) our new public service Market Analytic Toolkit is the latest NAO resource designed to help government address a set of new challenges around its use of markets to deliver public services, including oversight, consumer protection, regulation and helping to achieve effective competition and innovative delivery. more… Making public sector markets work
Posted on October 20, 2016 by Ashley McDougall
Local authorities are under pressure. Demographics, cuts in central government funding, statutory services and public expectations combine to pose huge challenges to the financial sustainability of services. Has the limit to efficiencies been hit? We spoke to local authorities to find out if there’s still scope for improved value for money and to discover what works and what will prevent local public service reform. more… Local service reform: is it all about the money?
Posted on September 15, 2016 by Ashley McDougall
Do you know how many children there are living in care in England? How much local authorities spend a year on foster or residential place for a child? What proportion of children in care passed five GCSEs including maths and English? Without answers to such questions, it’s hard for local authorities and the Department for Education (DfE) to improve services. And with young people who have had a background in care more likely to face problems such as unemployment, homelessness; contact with the criminal justice system; or mental health issues; there’s a strong need for improvements. That’s why in 2014 we began a series of reports on children’s services and have recently published a highly illustrated, ‘easy read’ report for the children themselves. more… Good services: child’s play?