CSJ: It’s not as though there are not enough examples of Good & Bad Practice - Britain’s system of spending public money needs a fundamental shake-up to eliminate waste & boost results, according to a major new report from think-tank Centre for Social Justice. Whitehall decisions about the allocation of £700bn of taxpayer’s money should be made on the basis of clearly defined objectives and not vague hopes of improving people’s lives, the report says.
The report from the CSJ is highly critical of Whitehall’s historic approach to making spending decisions. For decades, spending programmes overseen by successive governments have lacked clear objectives and have been poorly managed & monitored. One example comes from a Public Accounts Committee report, which concluded: “The Government spends £1.2 billion a year tackling problem drug use, yet does not know what overall effect this spending has.”
The report calls on Ministers to create a new body – the Office of Spending Effectiveness – which would work with established organisations such as the Office of National Statistics and the National Audit Office – to check spending plans from government departments for their likely effectiveness before they are approved.
Press release ~ CSJ ~ Outcome-based Government – Full report ~ Executive Summary ~ Social Return on Investment Network ~ nef: Valuing what Matters ~ The SROI Primer ~ The Ambitions and Challenges of SROI ~ Breakthrough Britain. Ending the Costs of Social breakdown ~ Washington State Institute for Public Policy – Costs and Benefits ~ ‘Payment for success- How to shift power from Whitehall to public service customers, KPMG, 2010 ~ DWP, Research Report No.366 ‘Gateway to Work New Deal 25 Plus pilots evaluation’ ~ HM Treasury, ‘Spending Review 2010’ 20 October 2010 (see p.16 para. 1,10) ~ PAC, Tackling problem drug use, March 2010, p.5 para. 1 ~ NAO: Tackling problem drug use ~ Drug Treatment Outcomes Research Study (DTORS) ~ Awareness projects press release ~ Sir Roy McNulty: Rail value for money report ~ Build and Beyond: The (r)evolution of healthcare PPPs ~ AC: All value for money good practice ~ OFT: Commissioning & competition in the public sector ~ Final report on public perceptions of the benefits of HE ~ Summary report published by Universities UK ~ Dying for Change ~ Related NAO press release regarding M25 widening ~ Measuring Neighbourhood Watch: Views of Effectiveness ~ NAO: ;Central government's use of consultants and interims ~ Strategic Financial Management in Councils: delivering services with a reduced income ~ NAO: Reducing the cost of procuring Fire & Rescue Service vehicles and specialist equipment ~ NAO: ;Assessing the impact of proposed new policies ~ NAO: The performance and management of hospital PFI contracts ~ PFI: £70m bill for schools that had to close ~ NAO: Assurance for high risk projects ~ OGC Gateway reviews ~ Major Project Review Group ~ NAO: Commercial skills for complex government projects ~ Value For Money in public sector corporate services - A joint project by the UK Public Sector Audit Agencies ~ Public service reform in Scotland ~ Capability review website ~ KF: Value for money Health Service press release ~ Valuable lessons ~ ESRC – The Management of Second Best ~ NAO MoD Black Hole press release ~ Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2009 ~ Review of Arrangements for Efficiencies from Smarter Procurement in Local Government ~ AC: View the updated VfM profiles ~ NAO: Department of Health - Young people’s sexual health: the National Chlamydia Screening Programme ~ Necessity - not nicety: A new commercial operating model for the NHS and Department of Health ~ NAO: Help for public sector services ~ Value for Money: Government Guidance See also last item in this section for a new model for public service delivery
Defra: With recent food price rises behind much of world’s political unrest this is not something that can be ignored by politicians - There needs to be a worldwide agricultural revolution, with farmers growing more food at less cost to the environment, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said last week .
Responding to Foresight’s report on global food and farming futures, Mrs Spelman and Mr Mitchell said that there was a role for governments, the private sector & consumers to play throughout the entire food system in achieving future food security.
The Foresight report estimates that a third of the world’s food is currently being wasted, and that halving food waste by 2050 would have the same effect as increasing food production today by 25%. As part of its response, the UK Government will work with the private sector and other countries to learn and share good practice.
Newswire – NHSC: Not everyone can get to their GP’s surgery within a few minutes or at minimal cost - A new NHS Confederation report says the over-reliance on treatment delivered through face-to-face contact means the ‘NHS risks being stuck in the technological dark ages as new ways of communication become the norm’.
Remote control, the patient-practitioner relationship in a digital age says that, while for many of the NHS’ main users (especially the very old) face-to-face will continue to be the most sensible way to provide care, for an ever-growing number it is not. More & more people expect to be able to manage parts of their healthcare remotely using modern communication technologies, as they do with other areas of their life.
The NHS has to cater for this section of society to offer high-quality care and ensure that resources can be used more appropriately where face-to-face contact is the best option. NHSC acting chief executive Nigel Edwards said: “There are lots of pilots and studies showing how new communications technologies can improve care but they are rarely fully taken up so we know important barriers still remain in taking up these new technologies. …………. We need to address these barriers as people increasingly expect to access services online. It simply cannot be sustainable in the health service of the future for skilled NHS staff to continue to send on referral letters using second class post.”
HO: Counter-terrorism is much more than ‘Detention Orders’ - New measures to rebalance Britain’s counter-terrorism powers and restore British freedoms whilst protecting the public were outlined by the Home Secretary, Theresa May last week. The recommendations follow a comprehensive review of counter-terrorism powers and legislation which sought to assess whether they were necessary, effective and proportionate.
In some areas counter-terrorism & security powers were found to be neither proportionate nor necessary and the recommendations are designed to restore British freedoms, while enabling the police & security services to continue to protect the public and national security.
Industry News: A new model for public service delivery: The Social Investment Business - Public service reform is central to the Government’s Big Society and Localism agendas. There are many innovative new ways Local Authorities can adapt to reach these goals including enabling social enterprises, charities and voluntary groups to play a leading role in delivering local public services. These include new models for financing and delivering public services that combine outcomes based contracts, social impact bonds, payment by results, civil society consortia, partnerships and mutuals.
The benefits of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) delivering services are clear – building social capital, reach into communities, knowledge of local need, cost effectiveness, innovation and social impact. However, CSOs face multiple barriers in bidding for, winning and delivering pubic sector contracts.
The Social Investment Business manages Government funds on behalf of the Office for Civil Society, the Department of Health and the Department for Communities and Local Government, with over 1,100 active investments. If you are a public sector decision maker or a CSO involved in public service delivery and would like to know more about the support services that we as The Social Investment Business can offer, please click on the link HERE