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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Brutality and Public Service

Will Hutton, Is Gordon ready to be brutal? Plans to slim down the civil service demand a management revolution The Guardian, July 14, 2004 [update: URL corrected]

Hutton uses this article to give a plug for a report from his own organization, the Work Foundation.

David Coats, Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency The Gershon Review: Public Service Efficiency and the Management of Change (pdf 150kb)

The Work Foundation paper seeks to downplay Choice, and replace it with some notion of Public Value. Does this mean that old-fashioned civil servants (Sir Humphrey, Lord Butler) know best? From the supply side, Efficiency appears to be in conflict with Choice.

But when we look at the situation from the demand side, there is no conflict at all - indeed, you can only achieve true efficiency by personalization and choice. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor both seem to understand this, but they are surrounded by people with a vested interest in the status quo.

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