Local service delivery
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?
Posted on July 21, 2016 by Joshua Reddaway
Innovation, flexibility, value for money, specialist expertise, local knowledge: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can bring great benefits to the delivery of public sector contracts. Economic growth can be created, competition increased and local investment and social outcomes encouraged. But government needs to think differently if it is to overcome the barriers to contracting between government and SMEs – especially voluntary, community or social enterprises (VCSEs). more… SMEs to VCSEs: barriers to benefits
Posted on July 6, 2016 by Sue Higgins
As Sue Higgins, our Executive Leader for Local Government, headed off to chart her own course to exciting new challenges overseas, she shared her insights on local government and the devolution agenda in the following article, which Civil Service World has kindly allowed us to re-publish here. In a complex environment, Sue provides some steers for government to take through the uncharted waters of devolution, now even more uncertain following the referendum. more… Steering English devolution
Posted on June 16, 2016 by Iain Forrester
It’s good to share. Surely sharing services has to be more efficient? Standardised services and economies of scale have to reduce costs. But what about tailoring to needs and allowing flexibility? What about the risks of service failure? We at the NAO are often asked by public sector organisations whether they should join in shared services. The answer is … it depends.
Posted on June 10, 2016 by Pauline Ngan
It’s unusual, but true: the NAO has called for permanent secretaries to stand up to ministers. Our report on Accountability to Parliament for taxpayers’ money concludes top civil servants need to be confident in challenging policy proposals that don’t use public resources wisely. But accountability isn’t just for permanent secretaries. Our four ‘accountability essentials’ apply to all day-to-day spending of taxpayers’ (your) money.