Monday, December 01, 2008

The malaise in the public sector

Iain Dale was calling for Ms Shoesmith to get the chop ( which in fact she has ).

But I want to suggest that there is a more general problem with public services ( health, education, social services, and I'm afraid defence also ).

Below is the comment (with some of my dire spelling corrected) I left on Iain Dales blog.

    This shows a sign of a more serious and general public sector malaise.

    The role of leadership and judgement has been replaced with quality management ideas - which keep people very busy filling forms and finding 'evidence'. This approach is used to pass down 'targets' and direct inspections of various public service functions.

    I wonder if this isn't why Ms Shoesmith used graphs to show why her department performed well ( despite the body of a young child to prove otherwise ), their inspection report was three star and all those heads wrote in to support her.

    Personal responsibility ( especially on public sector employers on such fantastic salaries ) is good.

    But I'm afraid this will change nothing.

It might sound rather academic and abstract, but the Conservative party needs to get to grip with these ideas if it is ever to reform the public services.

Update: Burning our Money's Wat Tyler ain't too impressed either.


Armchair Sceptic said...

Kids Company’s Camila Batmangehelidjh was on Sky earlier and said there is a “political flaw” across many social service departments which are underfunded and lack "political leadership".

This is an endemic problem of culture, ideology, funding, and a "lack of political leadership."

Man in a Shed said...

Wilted Rose, you are undoubtedly right. However, I think there is a structural flaw in our public services also.

In many different areas of government service you can view report that assure you that tractor production goes well. There are forest loads of policies, a reports showing evidence of how each bit of the states tractor production is doing well.

And yet, and yet it moves (to paraphrase Galileo )...

My wife moved from the public sector to the private sector a few years ago and is now aghast at the waste in the public sector.

I have a friends who have been left wing since my University days ( leading to many 'discussions' over beer ) who have suddenly switch to the Conservatives on seeing the public sector close up for the first time as school governor.

Something is very, very wrong in the way public services function. My guess is its connected to the movement and cross over of TQM from the private sector to the public sector without the constraints of cost as market competition.